Two years ago, I wrote in opposition to the proposed ban on texting and driving in the Iowa Legislature. And here we are again, only this time my legislators want to tell me I can’t talk on the phone while driving!

As a conservative, I believe strongly in personal rights, and also personal responsibility.

In Germany, they have a ban on all distracted driving. No food, no drink, no smoking, etc. We are not a socialist country. We have rights and the government’s primary responsibility is to protect those rights.

My question to those that would make decisions on my behavior is where do you draw the line? Will I be able to eat and drive? Grab a coffee for the road? Change my radio station? Look at my Google map to find my way?

According to statistics found on distracteddriveraccidents.com:

  • Drivers with food and drink are 3.6 times more likely to be in a car crash.
  • 65 percent of near crashes are caused from eating
  • 70 percent of drivers eat, and 83 percent have a beverage
  • In 2017 there were 10 deaths in Iowa from using a phone

Ten is too many, and we can have the argument of one is too many another time, and on different issues.

I point out the statistics from eating and drinking because it is not being considered in the current legislation, yet seems to be a bit more common. Where will the line be drawn? Is it an arbitrary line, or is it based on careful consideration of both rights and responsibilities?

Obviously, the vast majority of drivers have no accidents, and seem to be able to talk and drive at the same time. Is the job of legislators to manage us ad infinitum, or protect our liberties, and decide consequences for the offenders?

All that being said, the rules for new drivers, students, etc. can certainly come under different parameters. In our family we didn’t approve of teens with backseat passengers. Oh my, kids in the car! Now we could really have a discussion about distracted driving there!

Linda Stickle

Anamosa, IA

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