From AZCentral.com -
The Senate today narrowly rejected a bill that would have banned text messaging while driving.
The bill would have carried a $50 fine for sending or reading text messages while driving, and a $200 fine if the driver had been involved in an accident while texting. It failed by a 14-15 vote.
Others saw it as a personal rights issue, according to Sen. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, who voted against the bill.
“We believe in individual liberty and personal responsibility, and we're not going to dictate every aspect of people's lives," Harper said. “People need to take responsibility for their own lives.”
Ummm...Senator Harper? The bill was *not* about regulating behavior that has the potential to harm only the participant. The bill was about regulating behavior that has been shown to endanger non-participants.
"Individual liberty" doesn't protect activities that can injure and even kill others. If it did, then the victims of drunk drivers would be the ones going to jail (perhaps for daring to splatter their blood on the cars of their killers?).
If somebody wants to bungee jump off of a 100-foot tower with a 101-foot bungee cord, that's their problem; if somebody wants to do the same over some innocent bystanders, that's society's, and the legislature's, problem to deal with.
Of course, if you can see the big picture, today's defeat of the texting ban can be combined with the "guns in cars" bill (a measure that Harper also supports) to make a perfect "people need to take responsibility for their own lives" measure.
Logically, given the rationales expressed for both bills, the laws of AZ should be changed to allow drivers to shoot other drivers who are texting while driving.
I mean, it only makes sense - drivers who are texting are endangering those around them, and if those other, armed, drivers are expected to take personal responsibility for activities that they themselves aren't engaged in, they should be able to do what they need to do in order to protect themselves.
Call it "Road Rage as public policy."