Governor Rick: You Can Have My BlackBerry When You Pry It Out of My Cold Dead Fingers

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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Sometimes it takes me a couple days to get my mind around Rick Perry. For the last several days I have been pondering the governor's veto of the Texas no-text bill. As passed by both houses of the Legislature, the measure would have made it illegal to carry out text messaging while driving.

Perry killed the bill at the last minute because he said it was an attempt by government to "micromanage the behavior of adults." So I have been driving around asking myself what that even means.

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Texting while driving is fine with Governor Rick, unless we're talking about a woman texting about her uterus.
Obviously Perry is not saying government should not manage the behavior of adults, as in the laws against murder. Just as obviously, if we are going to give him any credit at all, it's possible for government to go too far, as in a law against nose-picking while driving.

So what we're talking about is not an absolute but a line. Where does the line fall between OK government managing, as in no murder, and not-OK micromanaging, as in nose-picking?

I would have thought a no-texting law fell on the OK side. In other words, it should be OK for government to manage texting while driving. But then I would have to explain why. Is it really a problem?

I know there are statistics out there for X many people who cause wrecks every year because of texting, but I don't know that I really trust any of them. You can't test people for texting after the wreck the way you can for crystal meth.

Last year the National Safety Council released numbers to show that 1.4 million people a year crash their cars while talking on cell phones while 200,000 get in wrecks while texting. I don't think I believe any of that.

For me it always comes down to personal experience and common sense. Now whenever I come to full stop in my car, I have to gaze around the intersection to see if any drivers are going to do a cell phone drift. You know what I mean: the wide slow wobbly entry into the intersection accompanied by feverish arm gesticulation meaning the driver is talking to a relative who has just decided on the spur of the moment to buy a red Corvette.

You can die for that crap, right? That guy not only doesn't see you. He can't see anything but the theoretical Corvette. He's driving in another dimension on another planet, and you are but a cloud of nano-particles.

But the cell phone drift is nowhere close to as bad as the texter's pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey acceleration. You have to watch for it now all the time in the rear-view mirror. It's some kind of weird neural connection between thumb and foot. Something about being totally concentrated on a tiny key pad and trying to press the keys quickly with your thumbnails causes people to jam their feet down on the accelerator.

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But, officer, it was just a scratch. I swear.
When I am sitting in traffic unable to move and watching the person in the rear-view mirror text, with his or her car taking the tell-tale odd little jumps forward every few seconds, I do want my government to intervene.

Why should it be the government that intervenes? Let me ask you something. Who else did you have in mind? What, peer pressure? Not in Texas. Everybody's afraid of getting shot.

So here is where I need some help. I wonder if people here have any kind of metric they might offer for what's nanny and what's not. What's the difference? When is it OK for the state to meddle, and when should the state butt out? You tell me.

Should we be allowed to play chess while driving, for example? What about finger-painting? Was it a mistake to outlaw guzzling from a gin bottle while driving? You tell me.

By the way, just so you can place me on this scale, I would actually be in favor of a no-nose-picking law. That's one where I also do anonymous loud horn honking, because I can't stand it, and I wouldn't mind seeing people sent to jail.

Here's the other thing. Perry is so weird, you never can tell. He thought it was great to authorize the state to invade women's uteri with the new sonogram law. Who knows? He might even be with me on nose-picking. I wonder.

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35 comments
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Augie
Augie

This has nothing to do with TWD and everything to do with Perry running for President as the anti government Governor in Chief. 

TWD has been show to be the equivalent distraction level of DWI with a .24 BAC.  No one, NO ONE would consider driving with a .24 BAC acceptable.  An anti TWD would have multiple good outcomes.  One, education of the public that this is very very dangerous.  Two, most adults think the should and do attempt to follow the law, so less people would be TWD if it were illegal. Less people doing it, less people die.  Less injuries that burden our healthcare system and that we pay for with our taxes.  

How many people bitched about wearing seatbelt and what an intrusion that was. Now, how many people wear them?  How big an imposition is wearing one really?  TWD is the similar.  This is a new phenomena that everyone who owns a car has or will have soon a phone that allows TWD.  New problem, new things should be done to make the roads safer for all of us who use them daily.  

Win or lose in his Presidential campaign, blood is on Perry's hands.  More people will die and be seriously injured and all so they could type LOL or see you in 15 minutes.  Texts are hardly life altering or literary works. They can wait. They should wait.  Now a generations of Texans will think TWD is just fine (even the the House and Senate strongly supported this law, even though before Perry's antics, 37 of 37 states to consider this law passed anti TWD laws.)  Political grandstanding that literally kills.  Perfect metaphor for Governor Perry.  

Notext
Notext

Studies have shown that a texting driver is eight times more dangerous than a drunk.  My answer to texting drivers is a single finger waved high, but of course they don't see it because they are totally clueless as to what is going on around them.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

He doesn't want to micromanage us?  Then why did he want young girls to be required to have risky immunizations against cancer?Why did he want woman seeking abortions to be REQUIRED to jump thru hoops just to please him?Every day this guy is out finding new ways to micro-manage us.

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

Maybe, they can get an app for sonograms. That way a woman can get one done while going thru the In-n-Out burger on the way to lil Timmy's soccer game. It's a multi- tasking world. We need multi- tasking legislation. Gov. Perry let's pray on this!

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

JS, be a little more of a civil libertarian!  Reckless driving, the activity the Legislature's actually trying to prevent, is already illegal.  So, as a practical matter, the texting ban would only have been yet another way for police to justify traffic stops even without any indication of dangerous driving.  So, sure, Perry's a big hypocrite about civil liberties, but the veto was the right call.

cp
cp

No let's do random check-points, like they do for DWI's. 

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

Really, we probably know which drivers are most likely to text.  Why don't we send officers around to their houses to ticket them in advance?

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Another example of why Rick Perry is not fit for office.  I have been run into by a young girl driving while on her cell phone-ran a red light and plowed into my car and totaled it.   Oh but that is ok Rick?!?!?!?

Jesse
Jesse

What's the difference between texting while driving and reading a magazine while driving?

VoiceOfReason
VoiceOfReason

If driving and texting are alright, why not driving and drinking?  Sort of the same logic, is it not?  His chauffeur should be required to text at all times whilst driving the Governor around.  A little first hand experience might give Mr. Perry a come to Jesus moment.  Literally.

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dallasmay
dallasmay

This is a Perry Random Veto winner. He does this every year. He picks five or six random, perfectly good laws, and vetos them. In two years the exact same law will get passed all over again and he'll sign it. 

I figure he does this so that when he does get paid off to veto a bill he has plausible deniability. 

Ed D.
Ed D.

Clearly this delicate situation calls for a reasoned compromise: a strict ban on anyone receiving an abortion while driving plus a ban on texting while performing a sonogram. Problem solved,

Diana Powe
Diana Powe

When are you running for the Texas Lege? You've got it down!

Old coot
Old coot

I don't know about texting but the type of drivers I most see talking while driving are: - cops. Seriously I see more cops driving and talking than teenagers, soccer moms, absent minded dads or senior citizens.

RW1961
RW1961

From personal experience, it's WONDERFUL to drive in states that have outlawed talking/texting on handheld phones after driving here in Texas. The minute I get back here in Dallas, I have to be on double-triple alert, making it a point to see into every other car to determine if that person has their cell phone in their hand and it paying attention to it, or the cars around them.

Although not every driver followed the laws, making it against the law will at least cause a few more Highland Park moms in their Suburbans (sometimes loaded up with kids - not all their own!) to drive in their own lane instead of wandering all over the road while on their phones.

cp
cp

Hoping that was supposed to be satire. Because if you're seriously watching everyone else to see if they're texting or not, then who is paying attention to the road while you're at the wheel? 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

It's obvious he doesn't consider women to be "adults" considering he's fine micromanaging if they get vaccines and if they want an abortion.

Montemalone
Montemalone

But they can text their displeasure while the doctor has his way.

Lakewoodhobo
Lakewoodhobo

It's quite simple, actually:

Ban on texting while driving = micromanaging the behavior of adultsBan on same-sex marriage = HALLELUYA PRAISE JESUS

Ben
Ben

I have not cared for Rick Perry ever since his traffic stop video became public 8-9 years ago:

http://www.footage.net/VideoPr...

The part where he gets out of the truck for a second time and says "Why don't you just let us get on down the road!"

Gabe
Gabe

My metric is simple: never initiate force (violence). People do whatever they want. If they hurt someone else (initiate force), then the victims (and friends) defend themselves by responding with force (but not initiating). That's it. Government is just the collective defense against the initiation of force, and its agents (like all people) should only ever respond with, not initiate, violence.

This system is called "liberty".

LaceyB
LaceyB

I coulda died for it. Wednesday. Some guy in a red pickup clearly goes crashing through the crosswalk (all the way through, btw.) before halting. I'm about 10 ft. away, mouth agog, though, full of cigarette, and he just casually slips his text-smart-phone down. Like I wouldn't have seen it.Like I didn't see their red light and know it was safe to walk.Like I wouldn't have known that his texting was so important, that, had I not been an observant pedestrian running late, he would have killed me at that speed.

Perry, you are micromanaged all through your day by adults who do your schedule, get your latte just so, make sure you are driven to x-meeting in a limo taxpayers pay for, WHILE YOU TEXT IN THE BACK SEAT. Really?

Just keep these red-pickup idiots "micromanaged" as well. Before they kill someone.

pak152
pak152

these bills do nothing since it requires the police to enforce the law. this law would just give another excuse to stop a driver. instead of a broken taillight now it will be you are texting while drivingas for talking on a cellphone while driving people need to get a headset or use the speaker phone feature.

next thing you'll be asking the Lege to ban coffee/soda/slurpee drinking while driving, or banning radios from cars, or eating a big mac while driving

Anonymous
Anonymous

actually, driving while eating and drinking (non-alcoholic drinks, that is) are also incredibly distracting activities. don't we already have reckless driving laws? does it matter if it was specifically related to cell phone use? I don't support these dumb laws about texting, phone talking, etc until we add shoving your face full of McDonalds to the list or leaning back to get the last M&M out of the bag and into your morbidly obese face. again, enforce reckless driving, and stop trying to figure out what people are doing that makes them drive that way. if picking your nose is distracting enough, I say let's add it to the list. but it's all or none for me.

Diana Powe
Diana Powe

The problem with enforcing the offense of Reckless Driving (Texas Transportation Code § 545.401) is that it's not a ticketable offense. It's a Class B misdemeanor which means that it's a full-custodial arrest, just like a first offense DWI.

cp
cp

I have been pulled over a few times for "reckless driving" (swerved into another lane while changing the radio station, swerved into another lane while staring off into space) and each time (since that's all that is actually needed as probable cause to pull someone over) I have been accused of drinking, taken the blowie test and found to be sober. Everyone in this country thinks that they are better driver than everyone else on the road. BUT everyone in this country had been distracted by one thing or another while driving and done something stupid, like accidentally cut someone off in traffic. I have never been, nor known anyone who has been, arrested for "reckless driving".

Harvey
Harvey

We need to make sure Perry goes to the first funeral for a victim of an accident caused by an adult texting while driving.  Then he can sit there and pick away all he wants.  

Phelps
Phelps

Is it a faddish thing to talk about banning?

Don't ban it.

The end.

It is currently the fad to complain about people texting while driving.  Before that, it was talking on phones while driving.  Before that it was transfats.  

Keep going back far enough, and the things that government wanted to ban was books, women talking in public, and baths.

Harvey
Harvey

If we're talking about driving, I'm not sure I'm too concerned about transfats.  Bearing in mind that somebody driving 60 miles an hour in a ton vehicle needs to be concentrating on the road, I don't think we would be asking for too much in a law if people can't control themselves. Laws suck, but I don't trust you and I'm going to make sure you rot in prison if you kill me with your vehicle while you were irresponsible enough to be texting Gus.

cp
cp

How does one go about enforcing a no texting while driving ban? Random checkpoints? We can't even "enforce" a no drinking while driving ban. But, like Jim said, you can test for that sort of thing. Do you propose that cops pull over every swerving or lane-drifting car, and upon discovery that the driver has not consumed alcohol or taken drugs, decide tat they *must* have been texting, take away their phone and hand it over to forensics so they can check the time of the last text message to see if it coincides with the time immediately before being pulled over in traffic?

Another question: has anyone or anyone that anyone knows been actually pulled over for texting or otherwise using a handheld device while driving through a school zone?

Montemalone
Montemalone

The problem is the fucktards on Central going 30 while testing, or watching a DVD.We should mandate some sort of EM field blocker to be installed in all vehicles.

LaceyB
LaceyB

That's where it happened. Central and Knox. Northbound. So, you know they were headed for suburbia! Ugh!

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

It's not as complicated as all that. Perry's campaign consultants said he should veto the bill. It's the way he's been governing for nearly two years.

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