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Texting while cycling?

California Cyclists Split On Two-Wheel Texting Ban : NPR
California is one of 23 states that have made it illegal to text while driving. Now a state lawmaker wants to take it one step further -- and ban texting while riding bicycles.

I have serious reservations about this. Texting while cycling is NOT a good idea, at least in most cases. Whether it should be illegal is another thing.

I try to avoid using my cell phone when I'm on my bike because it is clearly harder to control the bike when one hand is holding the phone. OTOH there are times when it is also not quite safe to stop and get off the bike to answer the phone so I won't say I've NEVER answered a call while riding.

Realistically, my main objection to making behavior like this illegal is that it just does not fit with my notions of what government is supposed to be about. Also, there are invariably exceptions. For example, the NC law that bans texting while driving excludes law enforcement personnel. Why? If it is unsafe for civilians to text while driving then how is it supposed to be safe for police to text while driving?

I also don't think that the government can outlaw stupidity.

I have similar misgivings about requiring helmets for motorcyclists and bicyclists. Riding without a motorcycle helmet seems stupid to me, but there's no way to make a law against stupidity. Riding a bicycle without a helmet also strikes me as inappropriate, but I have to acknowledge that the votes are not all in regarding bicycle helmets. When motorists see a bicyclist riding without a helmet they tend to allow extra room when passing, which is a good thing. Also, there is that little question about data:
Cycle helmets - an overview
So far as can be determined, nowhere in the world has an increase in helmet use resulted in a fall in head injuries relative to cycle use.

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Comments
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(NT) How about "texting while jumping off a bridge"?
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I wouldn't recommend it but ...

I don't think there should be a law against it.

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Have to think about taht.

Seems to me it could be a threat to public safety, so maybe it should be against the law.

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Well, if you want to look at it that way ...

A lot of things can be a threat to public safety but we can't outlaw all of them.

What about voting for Marion Barry? We can't outlaw THAT kind of stupidity.

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