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Texter hits train

Posted by Richard on October 19, 2007

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving up I-25 minding my own business when the car to my left started to drift into my lane. I leaned on the horn and slowed down. The other car recovered and remained in his lane, but through the rear window, I could see that the driver was holding his cell phone at the top of the steering wheel and punching keys without pause.

That was the first time I became aware — because of the close call — of the "texting while driving" phenomenon. Now conscious of it, I've since noticed a couple of other instances. So far, thank goodness, I haven't seen the level of distraction exhibited by texter Robert Gillespie of Eugene, Oregon. He ran into the side of a freight train that he failed to notice while texting. 

As a libertarian, I'm convinced we have far too many laws and regulations. But I've long argued, semi-tongue-in-cheek, that there's a case to be made for a "misdemeanor stupidity" statute for behavior that's just too dumb to tolerate. This "texting while driving" crap makes me wonder if there should be a "felony stupidity" category as well.

What's going on here? Are we breeding common sense and even the drive for self-preservation out of the gene pool? This is stupid squared, it's apparently astonishingly common, and it gets people killed.

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