Fines for Reading while Driving

It sounds so ridiculous, it is a wonder that a new law had to be enacted to combat it. What are we talking about? The answer is; “texting” while driving”.

The new law aimed at stopping people from texting while driving came into effect in Virginia on the 1st of July. The goal is to have it outlawed in all Metro area jurisdictions.

Washington Staff writers Anita Kumar and Lisa Rein list the fines associated with breaches of the new law. A first offense carries a $20.00 fine and all subsequent fines are $50.00. In neighboring Maryland the fine is $500.00.

As a security consultant, it disturbs me that people would be willing to risk their life and the lives of others by reading and writing messages while driving. As a realist, I fear that if they are so careless, a twenty or fifty dollar fine will not prove to be a very effective deterrent.

A $500.00 fine on the other hand, like what Maryland imposes, should be a much better attention grabber. For those who want to complain about having freedoms or rights taken away from you – save your breath.

Yes I agree, you do have the right to behave like an idiot if you so wish. You do not have the right however to endanger my life and the lives of my loved ones because you think it is alright to read and drive. I was thinking of comparing it to reading a magazine while driving.

It is far worse, however. While a magazine article can be interesting, it is hardly likely to divert your attention like an immediate message from someone you know. Neither would there be a need to answer back a magazine.

By all means, text ’til the cows come home. Just don’t do it behind the wheel of a moving car.

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