We've written plenty of times about the ongoing push to ban talking on the phone while driving. Drivers that are distracted by phone conversations are undoubtedly a problem, but the real problem isn't them talking on the phone, it's the distraction. Devoting laws to make specific distractions illegal seems rather pointless, when compared to enforcing broader laws that seek to tackle poor and reckless driving in general. But, it would seem, many states would rather try to ban distractions one by one. So, in addition to talking on the phone, driving while drowsy, smoking while driving, and using OnStar or other telematics systems while driving, some New York lawmakers now looking to ban playing video games and sending faxes while driving. This illustrates the folly of these distraction-specific laws. Once legislators go down this path and begin to ban specific activities, they're in some sense obliged to try and ban every single distraction. After all, while most reasonable people would realize that it probably wouldn't be a great idea to operate a fax machine while driving -- but if it's not specifically made illegal, like talking on a cell phone while driving, it must be okay, right?
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