I have to admit that I’m extremely frustrated right now about texting-while-driving laws. According to the GHSA, currently, 41 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers.
Most of us probably agree that this is a good thing, but then you’re probably wondering why I’m so frustrated about it. Well, as most of you also probably know, police officers all over the country ride with laptop computers mounted in the front seat of their patrol cars.
I can say from first-hand experience that over the past few years, virtually every single police officer that has passed me in his or her car while I’ve been walking on the sidewalk, has been looking at, typing on, or fiddling with the laptop mounted in his/her car.
Now, I’m fully in support of all laws that ban texting while driving because I believe it’s an extremely dangerous thing to do. However, if the very people who enforce these texting while driving laws are also exempt from penalty over using their laptops while driving, what kind of message does this send?
A quick google search reveals all sorts of evidence that many police car accidents are caused by the officers’ use of their console laptops at the time of the accidents. Why don’t we ban laptop-ing while driving?
Take a look at this list of distracted driving laws for each state. Assuming this site is accurate and up to date, the implication is that I can shave while driving, read a book while driving, work on a laptop while driving, etc. Is it just me, or does this make absolutely no sense whatsoever?
I believe that if you’re a police officer, having a laptop in your car has become a necessity. I’m not suggesting that police officers should have their laptops taken away. I’m simply suggesting, that like texting-while-driving laws, it should not be legal to work on a laptop while you’re driving. If you need to look at the screen or type on the keyboard, pull over. That’s all there is to it.
I avoid texting while driving at all costs, no matter the situation. If I get a text that I feel compelled to check or respond to while I’m driving, I simply pull over at the next available opportunity and deal with it. The idea that someone can get pulled over for texting while driving by a cop who is on his or her laptop while he is pulling that person over, is ludicrous. It’s also extremely dangerous. Can we get a grip here, please?
As always, if anyone has any thoughts or comments, please share them below.