Coffee, Driving and the Law
Sometimes you just scratch your head over the needless laws that are on the books and if Assemblyman John Wisniewski has his way we’ll add another one in the near future.
The Middlesex County Democrat is sponsoring a bill that would basically make it illegal to take part in any activity that is not directly related to safely driving a motor vehicle. On the surface that seems logical but when you delve into this that means while driving you would not be able to change your radio station to WOBM, light up a cigarette and worst of all not take a sip of your coffee.
Those and other things we do regularly while driving are distractions and while we all are in favor of things that make cruising our roads and highways safer this is just another example of government going overboard. Reportedly this legislation is something Wisniewski, the chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, has been pushing for a number of years and there are other states who have similar bills to ban distracted driving.
The reason why a law to deal with this issue makes no sense is simple. It will rarely be enforced and even proponents admit this. Are local police officers and the State Police really going to pull someone over because they took a swig of their Dunkin' Donuts coffee? If someone is spotted eating a Wawa sandwich while driving down Route 37 is a Toms River police officer going to pull them over? I think the answer is “not very likely.”
What we should do is further enforce laws against operating hand-held cellphones especially when it comes to texting. That we know leads to accidents so let’s do all we can to cut down on this clear distraction.
By the way, that cup of coffee or gulp of a caffeine beverage that Wisniewski wants to ban can help when you’re a bit tired. I mention this because just yesterday an alarming report was released on the number of accidents and fatalities credited to “drowsy driving.” That is becoming a bigger problem and one a bit more deserving of attention.