I lost what I thought was a friend over my “mentality” last year when I decided to post my thoughts regarding a ban on texting while driving. I have written a post a long time ago on another website regarding “sneaky lawyer tricks.” Since I am a lawyer, I tend to know a little about what other lawyers do. There are a lot of reasons to despise and distrust the breed of lawyers who only have their own self-interest at heart. By contrast, I also know a lot of very good, upstanding lawyers, so this is not a knock on the entire profession.
Now, for the educational part of this post. Texting while driving is a serious problem, much like the effects of not wearing a seat belt, or a motorcycle helmet. The problem with these types of legislative exercises, though, is that they are usually primarily a money-maker for the state and the groups that would benefit from the violation of such laws. I am well over the age of 25, and have believed since my early 20s that wearing a seat belt is a good idea. I’ll spare you my reason; just trust me. I consider that decision, though, a matter of personal choice. I have trained my daughter to always buckle up. I don’t have as much luck with her father, but he’s grown.
Texting while driving is really no different. There will be many people who say in response to my defiant opinion, “are you crazy?!” No, I am not crazy; I simply believe that the kind of behavior the Ky General Assembly seeks to contain with this law will continue. I also believe that we don’t need the government to be our mommy. One effect of the law, if passed, will be to streamline the ability of trial lawyers to line their pockets with insurance settlements (going rate is 40% of the total before trial) on negligence per se for the driver who is insured by that company. The net effect is higher premiums as well as more cost for law enforcement efforts. There would probably be grants from the federal government as well. Is that the most important application of our tax money at this vital point in our economic future? I doubt it. Meanwhile, the emotional reaction to the issue of hideous car crashes and the delusion that they can be eradicated with the passage of this law go hand in glove. That is how the ambulance chasers hook you into going for feel-good laws that do no good for society.
Here’s a thought–stop passing laws that line trial lawyers’ pockets. I believe we should encourage personal responsibility. I am dreaming; someone pinch me.