Afterward came the usual uproar as the younger generation of drivers – most likely the same ones who claim they drive better drunk than sober – filled social media feeds with complaints, adamant that their high school texting-without-looking training is more than sufficient to avoid an accident.
However, covert cell phone skills or not, accidents do happen.
I’ll admit, I frequently confuse my driver’s seat for a La-Z-Boy, texting with one hand, eating with another and cruising along with a sure-handed knee holding the wheel.
However, the fact of the matter is, the law is not only necessary, it’s not as rigorous as it could be.
The law is essentially in the same class as the seat belt law with the first offense costing $25 if you can’t give the officer a convincing explanation of why that last message you sent was absolutely necessary.
After the first offense, the fines go up to $50 for a second offense and $75 for a third.
No matter how aware you think you are, cell phones seem to command all attention as texters focus more on typing between the lines than driving between them.
One particular example of technological multitasking incompetence occurred in 2009 when a teenage girl named Alexa Longueira was walking down a street in New York texting one of her friends.
With visions of smiley faces and “lolcats” clouding her mind, she failed to see the open manhole in front of her and fell 5 feet – straight into the sewer.
If people can manage to hurt themselves texting and walking, I’m sure you’re not more in control going 70 mph down Interstate 85.
The law goes into effect Aug. 1. but most likely, drivers will continue to text and drive anyway.
But, if you do, be intelligent about it.
If you have a smartphone with a screen bright enough to signal Batman, don’t text and drive at night.
Driving home after a night at the bars could reduce your cell phone plan from unlimited minutes to one phone call if a routine ticket stop for texting turns into a DWI.
If you’re driving on a crowded road surrounded by cars, wait until a stop sign or red light to talk to your friends.
Or, instead of risking your money for a 20 minute conversation in texts, go old school and just call them.
Whether you put them on speakerphone or not, you’ll be able to see the road, you won’t get a ticket.
Or, you know, have a real conversation.