“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” – Arthur Conan Doyle
The man who created the character, Sherlock Holmes was certainly on to something in this statement. But what if you eliminated the impossible and the truth were not improbable but extremely obvious? Wouldn’t it be clear that we should all endorse this gleefully? You would think this is kind of a no-brainer.
And that brings me to the subject (once again) of texting while driving.
Here’s the impossible – passing laws that prohibit texting while driving and expecting that they will be obeyed or can be enforced. One would think we wouldn’t need to pass this kind of law because an intelligent individual would realize that this puts herself at risk – not to mention the possible risk inflicted on innocent people who are in the neighborhood of her vehicle.
Recent stories about two young men, one who suffered a brain injury in Texas as a result of his texting while driving and the second about another in Washington state who narrowly escaped what might have been a fatal accident while engaged in the same activity prove that not all of us pay attention to the law – and even fewer exhibit any awareness of “common sense.”
Currently 39 states have laws on the books which prohibit texting while operating a motor vehicle. What a waste of time, money and paper. There is, as I have previously suggested an obvious and easy solution – and it will actually work.
By definition, if you are able to text from your phone you have a “smart phone.” That smart phone can offer you GPS guidance – which means it knows where you are. How hard would it be to modify those phones (if they don’t already have the capability) to be able to determine how fast you are moving while you are using it?
If your phone detects that you are moving at faster than 10 mph, if you attempt either to receive or send a text, both screens come up with a warning: “Accepting (or Sending) this text will result in your being charged a $5.00 Service Fee for texting while driving.” Hit both the recipient and sender at the same time – thereby educating two people at once. I guarantee that after one or two monthly billing cycles, these auto-texters will reconsider their ways.
No need to involve the police in the process, diverting them from more important work they have to do. And it’s not a matter of getting caught – because by your own actions you are convicting (and paying a fine) yourself.
Sounds like more government intervention in our lives. Well, in a sense that is true. But in 39 states the government has already intervened. We are merely making their efforts efficient.
And what happens to the fees collected? Use them to pay down the national debt or give them to a charity. (I’m even willing to waive my 10% fee for thinking up this very obvious solution).