I think a few of you predicted this bill was coming.
As I predicted, (I think) it is poorly worded. When I commented in TC’s post on this topic I said that the problem with this type of bill is that as soon as you define what is illegal you have by default defined what is not illegal. This bill would outlaw “using a handheld electronic wireless communication device to write, send, or read a text-based communication”.
See any loop holes there? While the bill defines “hands free technology”, it fails to define what is a handheld device. Can I still use my internet connected laptop, netbook, or iPad since I don’t have to hold them in my hand? What if my phone is cradled?
Also, this only outlaws “text-based communications” which would cover text messages, IMs and email. Know anyone that is constantly browsing through their MP3 playlist? Have a friend that has a million crazy MMS (picture or video) messages saved and it always forwarding them to everyone they know, or holding their phone in your face to watch a few? Still legal while driving.
Aside from the loop holes, I see this as near impossible to enforce. People will just start holding their phone in their laps while texting. Sure, you can spot someone staring at their crotch while driving, but how do yo prove they were reading a text message? Will law enforcement now be requesting the phone records of all suspected offenders? I think that might get some privacy advocates in an uproar.
Thoughts? Maybe I am just being too critical. Maybe texting is the only problem and these other things don’t happen enough to be distractions. Maybe the enforcement isn’t an issue – the law alone would prevent it from happening, right?