There are some unwritten rules in life that are givens. You don’t place your hand in a fire to see if it’s hot, you don’t predict Royals and Chiefs championships and – as Jim Croce sang in 1972 – you don’t pull on Superman’s cape, or pull the mask off the Lone Ranger and “you don’t mess around with Jim.”

There are some unwritten rules in life that are givens. You don’t place your hand in a fire to see if it’s hot, you don’t predict Royals and Chiefs championships and – as Jim Croce sang in 1972 – you don’t pull on Superman’s cape, or pull the mask off the Lone Ranger and “you don’t mess around with Jim.”
Another obvious given – you don‘t text while driving. That should be a no-brainer but it isn’t, for drivers are texting with total ignorance and disregard for their own safety or the safety of others. They increase the chance of an accident dramatically. The federal Department of Transportation’s latest figures reveal that 5,870 drivers lost their lives due to distractions such as cell phones and texting and more than 500,000 were injured.
Such numbers do not go unnoticed by lawmakers for 19 states prohibit texting while driving and 23 others are considering following their lead. On Tuesday the department issued federal guidelines that prohibit drivers of commercial trucks and buses from texting while driving. Violators face criminal and civil penalties and fines up to $2,750.
Six states plus the District of Colombia and the Virgin Islands ban the use of handheld devices while driving, and that includes cell phones. Last August Missouri enacted a no-texting law for drivers age 21 and under. It was meant to deter mostly teenagers from texting while driving.
State Rep. Gary Dusenberg, R-Blue Springs, representing parts of Blue Springs and eastern Independence, and he serves on the House Transportation Committee. He tells me at least six new texting bills are pending before the House. Three of those bills I checked on do include a texting ban for all drivers. Another bill even calls for cell phone restrictions. The next problem lies with law-enforcement because the current “under 21 texting law” has been difficult to enforce, for fewer than 50 texting arrests have been made statewide.
However, it is my contention, that with a promotional campaign, comprehensive driver education and increased arrests, all no texting/calling laws, will reluctantly be observed just like the “Buckle up – It’s the law” seat belt campaign struck fear into us. Or will we need “designated texters” in our cars?
I give you President John Adams’ toast: Independence forever.