If you pay attention to current events, you may have noticed that on January 1, it became illegal in Washington state to compose text messages on your cellphone/blackberry thing while driving.
If you get caught, it'll cost you $124. If it leads to an accident, the penalty goes up to a whopping $175.
Does this seem scary to any of my road-going bike-rider friends? It sure scares me!
- It suggests that in the other 49 states, it's okay (legal, at least) to compose text messages on your matchbook-size keyboard as you're driving along.
- More significantly, it suggests that there are people out there, operating 3500-pound steel missiles, whose judgment is so poor that they'll do something that's mind-bogglingly stupid and irresponsible, unless there's a law against it.
We already share roads with people who are BARELY capable of driving at all. (I see them all the time! There's no IQ test to get a drivers' license, and no way to test judgment, far as I know. Except after somebody causes an accident driving-while-texting, I guess you can say, "Golly! That guy was really exercising bad judgment!")
My biggest fear, as a road-going bicyclist, is the fear that somebody will plow into me while either impaired or distracted. I guess I can take comfort in knowing that if it happened in Washington, the perp would get fined $175 if it were his texting that caused the distraction.