Hands free law looming

There is still time to prepare for the inevitable. Neither fire nor flood, we trust, but the inevitable citation that many of us will earn from our local police because we just can’t break the habit of using our phones in the car.

We talk, we text, we look at photos, we cause accidents and sometimes we kill innocent people, but we find it hard to break the habit.

But break it we’d better, because, as our story pointed out last week, when a new state law goes into effect on July 1, local police departments are going to take it very seriously and are happy to do so. Local officers understand the dangers inherent in what we’ve come to call distracted driving but which might better be called dangerous driving. Well, the law is aimed at putting an end to that.

Of course it won’t anymore than laws against driving drunk have put an end to driving drunk. But better a law that gives us hope than no law at all. Suppose we had no law against driving drunk? Probably more people would risk driving after too many drinks.

Well, the absence of a law against distracted driving, most of us drive under the influence of distraction.

The law that will go into effect on July 1 says that drivers cannot use any hand-held devices capable fo providing voice or data communications while drive or — and this is important — while temporarily halted in traffic for a stop sign or traffic signal or other momentary delays.

And there are various penalties, including fines and possible suspension, or even revocation, one our licenses.

So, July 1 is still weeks away. We have plenty of time to get used to the idea of this new law and we also have plenty of time to practice operating under it. Why not stop using your hand-held devices right now? Why wait? Avoid the July 1 rush to comply.

If practice makes perfect, well why not perfect obeying this important law?

The police have other things to do, you know.