OK for Kids to Text and Drive in OK
Sometimes I wonder if any type of government makes sense. I know you've felt the same at one point or another. This week the Oklahoma Senate rejected a proposal that would prevent teenagers from using cell phones while driving. I'm not the most aware when it comes to our state government and what it is doing but from the few reports I have read, a big reasoning came from Oklahoma City Republican Sen. Steve Russell. He took up the debate against the measure saying it was a first step toward taking away individual rights.
Here is my big question: since WHEN does a kid under 18 have those kinds of rights? I love my kid. Sure, he is only 10, but in my household he doesn't HAVE individual rights. He has the set of rights called the "because I told you so" rights.
Maybe I am missing the point (probably am) and I do generally believe that I can run my life better than if a government tells me every step to make, but I'm thinking we might have taken the idea of individual rights a little too far in this one particular case.
When Dillon (the 10-year-old) gets to be driving age and we let him loose to reign terror over the entire universe of drivers, I'd like to know there are lots and lots of police and state troopers out there to stop him from being a complete idiot (read "average teenager" here).
In some states, similar measures levy a fine of about $50 which is pretty nominal for even a teenager to pay. In some states, a rule ‘not text and drive’ or use cell phones and drive without a hands-free set even applies to grown ups. I'm ok with that, too.
When my almost-18 year-old comes to me and EVER says, "but I have individual rights" . . . I might just explode. Yes, you WILL have individual rights when I train you not to do things that would get you a prime spot on Judge Judy. . .but for now, while you're just a kid. . . you're mine all mine and your rights are the rights I assign you.
Is that a little evil stepmother of me? Nope.
California has had similar laws on the books for several years now and a study released this week shows that having a law that prohibits texting and phone use while driving DOES prevent accidents and DOES save lives.
Why we feel in Oklahoma that it will be an infringement on rights instead of a life-saving measure is beyond my limited capacity of understanding. But, it does make me think that the other poll I've seen this week that says most Americans would feel better if we picked our representatives out of the PHONE BOOK instead of electing the career politicians might not be a bad idea after all.
I think we all have a responsibility to uphold our individual rights. This week, our right to protect our roads and kids met what my 10-year-old would call an EPIC FAIL.
Good luck driving home, dear representatives of Oklahoma. What do you think? Should we allow our children to text and drive at the same time! Take our survey