Today it’s Texas. Tomorrow it could be your state.
Up before the Texas state legislature is another draconian bill designed to eliminate the “inattentive operation” of a motor vehicle. Well actually, the bill is designed to up the fines for accidents to at least twice the minimum fine applicable to any driving offense if “inattentive” behaviors are involved in the offense.
The bill lists a multitude of “inattentive’ behaviors including the consumption of food or beverage, tuning a radio, and even interacting with a passenger. Of course every imaginable behavior that could be deemed as “inattentive” couldn’t be included or the bill would have run on for hundreds of pages, so the sponsor added this little phrase to cover all bases: “engaging in another activity that prevents the operator from safely operating the motor vehicle.”
Since this bill makes every imaginable behavior beyond the act of breathing an “inattentive behavior” wouldn’t the sponsor have been more honest to simply write a bill that doubles all driving fines for offenses of reckless driving laws currently in effect?
Some say that this bill, if passed into law, would be unenforceable, but they are wrong. The police are not going to stop you just because they see you sipping your morning cup of Jo, but if you commit any minor driving violation with even an empty cup of coffee in your cup holder, you will get a double fine. Eventually you will either leave home without your coffee or you will be sure to dump the evidence at your first convenience. The unintended consequences – sleepy drivers and more highway litter!
What would be the point of sponsoring this bill? Perhaps the sponsor just wanted fifteen minutes of fame? Or perhaps this is one of many bills designed to test the waters? Getting people used to accepting seemingly ludicrous or unenforceable laws is a good Orwellian plan. Loading up state legislatures with repressive bills is a kind of socialist lottery. Eventually enough inattentive voters will discover that their own state legislatures actually passed such a bill and then other states will easily fall.
I first heard about this bill on Thursday night when our local TV stations were all a buzz and actually making fun of the bill. None of the news broadcasts mentioned the name or number of the bill or its sponsor.
Naturally, I began to ponder this question: “Who would sponsor such a bill?” My first thought was that it had to be sponsored by a National Socialist (NAZI) hell-bent on dishonest social engineering and someone who actually believes that more government regulation is the answer to all human problems.
I wouldn’t want poor Rep. Chente Quintanilla, Democrat, of El Paso, Texas to be disappointed that his name failed to get mentioned in many of the news broadcasts the other night. Let me give him the fame his bill, 81(R) HB 738, deserves!
If you are a Texan please be sure to drop your state representative a little note about this bill. Tell your representative to “Let it die!!!” If you live in another state check out the bills up before your state legislature today.