Common Sense on Draft

Sometimes in my life, things happen in which I find myself laughing, shaking my head in wonder, and angry all at the same time. Every once in a while a law gets passed that brings about this type of reaction. Will Rogers once said: “The trouble with Congress is that every time it tells a joke it becomes a law, and every time it passes a law it becomes a joke”. Rogers would probably see that in many ways not much has changed since his passing in 1935.
Some laws were just never taken off the books. Time goes on and people go “there’s actually a LAW for THAT?” It would be very easy to cite laws in states where I have never lived. However, let me talk about some states where I have lived (and loved living in most of them). For example, I am currently a New York state resident. In New York, a marriage cannot be dissolved for irreconcilable differences unless both parties agree to it. HUH? Supposedly, in my home state of Georgia, legislators are given a unique form of protection. Supposedly, members of the Georgia state assembly cannot be ticketed for speeding while the state assembly is in session. After all, legislation is just as important as an ambulance transporting a mother in labor. NOT! The beautiful state of South Carolina reportedly has a law that states a permit is required to fire a missile. Thanks, South Carolina. I will feel much safer the next time I cruise the Mark Clark Expressway. I also must not leave out the beautiful state that is known as the Heart of Dixie – Alabama. In Alabama, it is allegedly illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle. I must say that, out of everything I have cited, this last law from Alabama is the one that provides the most amusement to me. Alabama had to pass a law to tell grown people not to drive while wearing a blindfold. The same state that gave us Joe Louis, Helen Keller, and Hank Aaron HAD to tell its constituents that one watch the road while driving. This is not a shot against the legislators in Alabama. Alabama is a beautiful state and I made some friendships there that still stand today. It is just one example among many throughout our great United States where common sense had to be legislated.
It is with this thought in mind that I get back to my current state of residence, New York, and a driving law that has once again been updated. A law has just passed in New York that mandates hands free operation of a cell phone WHILE DRIVING. This means that New York drivers MUST use a hands free device to use a cell phone WHILE DRIVING. Technically, under the law, using a cell phone’s speakerphone instead of a hands free device is a violation. The law even specifies that sending text messages WHILE DRIVING is a violation. Just like Alabama, the state of New York had to legally mandate that people who are old enough to know better to keep their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road WHILE DRIVING. Yes, it makes me laugh a bit and shake my head in wonder. It also angers me a bit.
The reason why I am angered by it is that I see evidence for its need daily. Just the other day, I pulled out of the office park where I work. This office park is about a quarter mile from the expressway. Shortly after I pulled out of said office park, I see a young lady in a sporty little car. Two things were clear about this lady. She was very irate and she spoke with her hands. I know this because this lady was in the car behind me. Every time I looked in my rear view mirror, I could see her ranting on her cell phone. Presumably, she was talking to the source of her ire. She held her phone in one hand and waved her other hand about wildly to express her very apparent indignation. She did all of this WHILE DRIVING. As I merged onto the expressway, she remained behind me ranting and waving. I even noticed her correct her steering a couple of times as her car veered while she spewed her wrath into her phone. This new law is designed to protect us all from drivers such as these. It is designed to protect us all from other drivers who feel their rights and convenience is more important than the safety of others.
In closing  I’d like to air one final thought. To the angry driver, I hope you get pulled over soon. I hope you get slapped with the $150 fine and 3 points on your drivers license. I know that would be very unpleasant for you. However, I find that a much better alternative than the strong risk of police needing your family to identify your body and what remains of your car.
P. S. To New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, thank you for passing this bill into law. This is a very important step to protect New York drivers from distracted drivers, Now, if you’d be so kind Governor, please stop dragging your feet on the Autism Insurance Reform Bill and pass it into law. Thank you.

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