Is there a limit on legislating people’s driving habits? That’s Mike Rosen’s question in the Opinion section of the Rocky Mountain News. He addresses another piece by Mark Lieberman who apparently is outraged over the lack of public outrage on cell phone use by drivers.

Rosen points out that driver distractions, whether by cell phone or crying children, is nothing new to drivers. Who hasn’t seen someone (or have done themselves) changing CDs; singing; oogling that attractive guy/gal; or arguing while driving?

The important thing is the degree to which the driver is distracted by their non-driving activity. Is talking on the cell phone the same as reading the newspaper while barreling down the highway? Rosen also asks how far to take banning “distractions”: ban smoking while driving? Chewing gum? (As a personal aside, I once worked in a wireless telephone company and saw a study on driving distractions. Number one on the list? Eating, followed by putting on make-up, shaving, and reading while driving.)

Finally, Rosen points out the difficulties in enforcing such laws.

What’s your view?

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