by Mike Masnick

After We Ban Driving While Drowsy, Can We Just Ban Legislating While Stupid?

from the please dept

Let's just face it: driving is a dangerous activity. Doing other things that suggest your full attention is not on the road makes it that much more dangerous -- but it seems ridiculous to ban each and every potentially dangerous thing you might do while driving. There are already laws on the books for reckless driving, and it seems like making use of those would be a lot more effective than some of the other proposals. Of course, we've talked about rules on yakking while driving (which may soon be accompanied with similar laws for pedestrians crossing the street while yakking). Then there are attempts at banning things like using OnStar while driving. Then, of course, you can going through the long list of possible distractions. Some have looked at banning smoking while driving and John writes in to let us know that New York has been looking at a bill to ban drowsy driving. Yes, you absolutely should not be driving while drowsy -- but the point is that there's an almost infinite number of possible things that can be done to make driving even more dangerous than it already is. It's never going to be possible to ban each one. Instead, why not just enforce existing laws that suggest that if you're doing something dangerous behind the wheel (and that includes driving while distracted or drowsy) you can get in trouble for it.

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  1. identicon
    Jason, 13 Feb 2007 @ 11:14am

    Isn't this already the case?

    When I was in High School back in 1992 I fell asleep at the wheel and hit another car. I got a ticket for driving while impaired. Lack of sleep is an impairment. Although I wasn't "drowsy" I was straight up snoozing, practically curled up with a pillow on my steering wheel. It would be hard to prove "drowsy."

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