How many different institutions are going to come up with things like this before governments get the hint? Yeah, I’m looking at you too, Dalton Mcguinty. A Verginia-based organization examined collision claims and accident paterns in several states, both with and without laws against texting while driving, starting before states began instituting these laws. And, surprising hopefully no one with a clue, they stumbled upon the fact that these laws don’t actually do anything. In 3 out of the 4 states they surveyed who have anti-text laws in place, the number of claims actually increased after passing these laws, and the usual collision paterns didn’t change a whole lot when compared to states who didn’t institute these laws.
What I’d be curious to know is what these people thought legislating common sense was actually going to accomplish besides nothing. Particularly when this particular common sense legislation can’t exactly be easy to enforce. Seriously, I can’t even see and it doesn’t take me long to dash off a quick text to whoever. It’d probably take someone who could see even less time than that–thus, the evidence would kind of be long gone before anyone who felt like playing the good samaritan could actually get the attention of the nearest policeman. Yes, we know driving and texting isn’t safe. At least, anyone with even a slight grasp of the obvious knows. But they still do it anyway. They’ll still do it if, God forbid, either the Canadian or US federal government gets around to making it an offense–strictly because of the lack of ability to actually enforce it. The article gets it right pointing out it’s not new laws that are going to change this kinda thing, but rather, social adjustment and education. Now, if only someone would socially adjust and educate Dalton Mcguinty, and apparently a few US governors. Hey, one can always dream.
Update: This Techdirt article does more explaining of my point than me. And they’re better at it. So go read them.