When texting, stay in one place

Published 10:20 pm Monday, July 13, 2009

Last week, our managing editor told you how incredibly stupid he thinks texting while driving is.

In case you missed it, here’s the gist — the texting culture of “kids these days” makes him feel old. He is shocked at the frustration of two “twentysomethings,” me included, over the new ban on texting while driving.

It’s not that I think texting while driving isn’t stupid. It absolutely is. However, I just think we already had a law like that — it’s called reckless driving. It seems redundant to make a law against reckless driving, and then make several more laws against specific things that can make your driving reckless. If we’re going to make a law against texting while driving, why not also make laws against eating, smoking and talking to passengers while driving? I would love to see the foolish smokers of the world relegated to an even-smaller corner where they can continue their vile, filthy habit.

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This weekend, something happened in New York that supports the statement that one should text only when sitting still. A Staten Island teenager, Alexa Longueira, was walking and getting ready to send a text message when she fell into an open sewer manhole. She’s OK for the most part, having suffered only cuts and bruises, and likely some hurt pride and an overwhelming stench.

Apparently, the workers at the scene told the girl that they had left the manhole open and unattended only for a few seconds while they went to get some cones from their truck. The workers had been about to flush a high-pressure sewer.

The Department of Environmental Protection says it is investigating the incident. The bright young lady’s family plans to sue.

Now, granted, texting while walking has far less dangerous consequences than texting while driving — primarily because those who are walking aren’t operating one-ton projectiles at the time. However, it’s probably safe to say that either one ought to be looking ahead, and not at a cell phone, as they press onward to their destination.

Hopefully, Miss Alexa remembers her injuries — and the smell — when she’s tempted to text while behind the wheel. On second thought, maybe someone as uncoordinated as she apparently is shouldn’t be issued a driver’s license at all.