I hate it when good intentions get bogged down in reality and human stubbornness. The Louisiana  House of Representatives is taking up debate today (April 17th) on a bill that would prohibit the use of a hand-held wireless phone or other devices while driving. I think that's a great idea in theory.

I am for anything that makes driving safer in our state. That's why I think we should spend money to fix our roads. If you really want Louisiana highways to be safer that would be the first place to start in my opinion.

But this isn't the place to argue that point. We are discussing cell phones and why this theory of banning handheld devices while driving won't work.  My question is this if we're going to ask our law enforcement professionals to watch out for cellphone users let's make driving with other stuff in our hands against the law too.

How about eating while driving? I have seen people scarfing down burgers, tacos, spaghetti, and even a guy eating with chopsticks while driving down the interstate. Are those drivers not just as "distracted"?

How about supermodels who are fixing makeup, applying lipstick, or taking a selfie. Are they not just as unattentive as the cellphone user?

What about the gentleman who has his music turned up so loud I can't hear the radio in my own car? Is that motorist not as much of a menace as a husband calling his wife to ask what else he needs to pick up at the grocery store?

So, why are we picking on cellphone users? It's because it's easy pickings. That's what the legislature likes. They like to pass laws that make common sense and look good in the eyes of the voters. This legislation would suffice on both of those accounts.

By the way, this is the kind of law that is only enforceable if you're poor or not politically connected. In other words, it's a typical Louisiana law, it only applies to common people in our state. Everyone else can call a friend or a cousin or make a campaign contribution to make the ticket go away.

Personally, I don't use my phone while I drive. I grew up in the age of payphones and I can actually wait until my vehicle is safely parked to communicate with another person who isn't sitting next to me in the car. That's what my Dad would call common sense.

With this piece of legislation, we are asking the legislature to legislate common sense to the populace. If I had a dollar for every time lawmakers legislated common sense to the people and it worked I'd be asking to borrow money from you to buy a soda at the vending machine.


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