October 14, 2009 1:30PM

Do We Need a Law against Texting While Driving?

Radley Balko exposes the politicians who play the game of enacting laws for symbolic purposes. In this game, whether the proposed law has any actual impact on the supposed problem seems entirely beside the point. Excerpt:

Maryland just passed a texting ban, but state officials are flummoxed over how to enforce it. The law bans texting while driving but allows for reading texts, for precisely the reasons just mentioned. But how can a police officer positioned at the side of a highway tell if the driver of the car that just flew by was actually pushing buttons on his cellphone and not merely reading the display screen? Unless a motorist is blatantly typing away at eye level, a car would need to be moving slowly enough for an officer to see inside, focus on the phone, and observe the driver manipulating the buttons. Which is to say the car would probably need to be stopped — at which point it ceases to be a safety hazard.

Read the whole thing. Until this feel‐​good‐​gesture‐​legislation game is broken up, the number of laws will continue to multiply. And that means the sphere of government expands while the sphere of liberty recedes.