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How about just a little common sense & courtesy?

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POSTED December 31, 2008 8:47 p.m.

CHP h8n on the txt msgs. It used 2 b ez to snd em - now u have 2 look n ur mirro all day. Im good @ driving & txting - but now u’ll get a tix and have 2 pay. Don’t b that guy - lol. Oh no, gtg. Im getting pulled ovr.

I do not fully comprehend the three sentences above. They are a text message put together at my request by staff reporter Jason Campbell to illustrate how a “texting” fanatic might spread the word it is now illegal to text and drive in California.

I openly admit I do not text. I have that ability blocked on my cell phone. I also do not use the cell phone to take photos, shoot video, play games, download music, keep an appointment book, surf the Internet or determine exactly where I’m at with global positioning although it has the capability to do all of that and probably more.

Call me ancient, or call me out-of-touch but to do that you’ll definitely have to tell me in person, use a phone, or send me a letter. Now there’s a concept— writing letters.

I’m willing to bet that we won’t need a law outlawing letter writing while driving. Common sense would dictate that, right? Wrong. Over the years in Manteca I’ve seen people driving while shaving, putting on lipstick, reading a newspaper, and picking lettuce out of a burger. They were not stopped. They were not backed up in traffic. They were doing that stuff while driving. Most of them were probably going at least 25 mph.

Could a law enforcement officer pull them over and cite them for improper or reckless driving even though there is no explicit law saying it is illegal to shave and drive at the same time? Yes they can.

So why did we need a law specifically outlawing texting while driving?

It’s because common sense has died in America or, at the very least, is in its death throes.

We are becoming so self-absorbed in viewing the world as rotating around us as individuals that we forget we are part of much greater things called “communities” and “society.”

It is the same reason why hardly anyone driving out of parking lots bothers anymore to stop behind the sidewalk especially when there are pedestrians walking. That is probably asking too much since few of us bother to come to a complete stop as required by law at stop signs.

The same is true of obeying speed limits. It is always everyone else who is speeding through our neighborhoods. It is never, though, us speeding through someone else’s neighborhoods because the conditions were perfectly safe for us to go faster, right?

Those who opt to ignore the law when it comes to not texting and driving as well as no hands-on cell phone use while driving don’t deserve our pity when they get slapped with tickets.

What they are doing is an act against the safety of others. It is not an act of civil disobedience as some like to claim.

The government — which is society as a whole — has the right to regulate how you drive since being able to go down a roadway built at the expense of the community is a privilege. If you want to text and drive without worrying about a ticket, then buy a hundred acres or so and drive around all day to your heart’s content texting and driving.

It would be nice if people when they are outside the privacy of their own domicile would remember there are other people on the planet.

If you don’t want to hear Frank Sinatra at full bore vibrating your windows as you drive down Yosemite Avenue, then show me the courtesy of not playing your thumper music so I can hear it two blocks away.

What we need is more common sense and common courtesy and less self-absorption.

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