by Madeleine Kando
I was driving to work and listening to NPR when I heard that a ban is looming on texting while driving in the state of Massachusetts. I immediately texted this news to my friend while driving.
I am joking, of course. I am one of those morons that cannot even text when I am not driving. When my friends ask me why I don’t text, I blame it on my antiquated cell phone keypad. But the truth is I just don’t have enough coordination to do the ‘2-thumbs’ keypad dance that I so admire when I watch my daughter text.
I am not sure how this new law would be enforced though. There are so many things you can do at ‘below the window level’ of your car. I will let your imagination roam on that thought, but who is to know whether you are innocently folding a piece of paper, taking the cover off of your coffee cup or just twiddling your thumbs?
On the other hand, I am surprised they haven’t started regulating what you can do while driving a lot earlier. If I had to make a list of all the things I am doing while driving, it would by quite extensive. I have been known to eat, drink, sing, talk, occasionally think, dance in my seat and of course swear at other drivers. I regularly do my facial exercises while driving (that often scares other drivers more than anything else), I have been known to pick my teeth, comb my hair and put on lipstick. I could go on but I don’t want to loose your interest, so I’ll stop.
A hundred years ago people would have laughed at the need to regulate our activities while driving. Driving was almost unheard of to begin with, but pushing on a minuscule piece of plastic with two thumbs would have been thought of as the actions of a lunatic.
A hundred years in the future, however, we might have to design laws against other lethal combinations. There might be a ban on drinking in the dark. (Soft drinks in the future might contain such bizarre additives that they would undergo a deadly chemical reaction in the absence of light). Or we might need laws against eating while flying. Our food will be engineered in such a way that it might explode at high altitudes.
Reading and chewing gum might be against the law. Why? Well, what if the book you are reading is so shocking that you swallow your gum, choke to death and your family sues the author for involuntary manslaughter?
Don’t misunderstand me. I am all for regulating texting while driving. I am just surprised that no-one has come up with the following brilliant idea: If texting means looking down or away from the road, why not design a steering wheel with a built-in keypad? Holding your steering wheel and using your thumbs for texting wouldn’t be any different than a handheld device.
If you decide to steal my brilliant idea and market it, I will come after you and demand a cut. So be forewarned. Bwahahaha! leave comment here
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
by Madeleine Kando