Rep. Vic Williams on Cell Phone Usage While Driving

Arizona State Representative Vic Williams spoke with CBS 5 in response to the NTSB’s recommendation to ban all electronic devices while driving. Representative Williams serves as the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

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  1. Glad to see some support from Vic for a texting ban. I hope we get a law soon. Please make sure that the penalties have some teeth, but don’t make it a crime – too much litigation cost. There should be a substantial civil penalty, just like reckless driving or drag racing.

  2. We would not like it if our airline pilots were texting while flying the plane. How would we feel if the school bus driver piloting the bus with our children on it was texting while driving. You are on the freeway and the guy driving the 18-wheeler next to you carrying nitrogen gas is returning a text. Or better yet, somebody is texting and driving and slams into any of those vehicles.

    Vic Williams is correct and it is time for Arizona to set severe penalities for this bad driving behavior.

    As a public safety consultant, I back the ban. The first offense can be an online course, as is being done in New Jersey and a repeat offense within two years will be a $500 fine.

    • Airline pilots have a lot to look at on their dashboard while they are also in communication with ground controllers, other aircraft, and their crew. You think that having them send a text message or two (even assuming they have a connection while flying) when their aircraft is on auto pilot is very serious? I doubt it; it might even help them stay awake.

      School bus drivers have dozens of distractions sitting behind them in the bus. Do you favor laws requiring all children in school buses to be bound and gagged for their safety while on a school bus?

      If someone hits a dangerous cargo on the road, I don’t care if it is because he is texting or adjusting his radio. It’s bad either way and he should not get a pass because he was just adjusting his radio instead of texting nor should he be punished more harshly for texting rather than just adjusting his radio. He should be punished simply for being a reckless, distracted driver.

  3. We already have laws against reckless and distracted driving. Why do we need a new law when texting is already covered by them? Also, what about people who text using voice commands to their phones instead of using their fingers; will that be considered texting? Why not also have laws against consuming food and beverages while driving? Or against adjusting a radio, CD, or MP3 player while driving? Or a law against looking at a map while driving? Or putting makeup on while driving? These are already covered by existing statutes against reckless and distracted driving.

    More laws focused on behaviors rather than outcomes are only the answer for a benovlently despotic nanny state. Holding people accountable for bad driving regardless of the reason is the better approach for a free society.

    At some point, these laws would be used as a basis for the government accessing records of texts rather than proving that the driving itself was reckless or evidenced distraction. The threat of private texts becoming part of a public record might intimidate people to not fight citations even when innocent.

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