Ban on cell phones while driving: About time, or nanny state gone amok?
Michael Dresser reports this morning that momentum seems to be gathering in Annapolis for some legislation this year to deal with the use of cell phones or text messaging while driving. Maryland was certinaly on the cutting edge in discussing the issue -- former Del. John Arnick put in a cell phone use while driving ban bill every year for more than a decade, dating back to the early '90s -- but so far the General Assembly has been unwilling to enact any kind of ban for adults.
That may be about to change. A ban on cell use while driving passed the Senate last year (albeit with loopholes) but failed in the House of Delegates. This year, Del. Maggie McIntosh says she wants to see some kind of distracted driving legislation pass, and what Maggie wants, Maggie gets.
The range of possibilities seems to include a ban on texting while driving, a ban on hand-held cell phone use while driving, a total ban on cell use while driving, and some sort of broader restriction on distracted driving that could include everything from putting on makeup to eating behind the wheel. Any law could be a primary offense (meaning the cops can pull you over for that alone) or a secondary offense (meaning they'd need to catch you for something else, like speeding, first).
Has the time come for some sort of restriction, or should the state of Maryland butt out?