Wednesday, March 31, 2010

distract this

Oregon recently enacted a Distracted Driver law, prohibiting cell phone use while driving a motor vehicle, a Class D infraction. There are a few exceptions, like using a blue-tooth, law enforcement, people who operate a vehicle as part of their job, and others. See ORS 811.507 for a full list. Question...are drivers who wear a badge or drive truck for a living immune from distraction? Just asking.

Now consider this thought which I have been mulling over for a month or so...When a person gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, after drinking say 3-4 pints and is legally over the limit, one might argue that they were unable to formulate the necessary intent to drive under the influence. (Good luck with that, by the way.)

However, assuming one is not drunk, use of the cell phone that does not fall under an exception is a conscious choice to defy the law, distract oneself, and put the lives of others in danger. I have no stats handy, but one would have to be living under a rock to not understand the concept of a distracted driver. It seems to me that the fine associated with a Class D infraction is laughable.

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