State's law against reckless driving won't cut it - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

State's law against reckless driving won't cut it

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Posted: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 2:00 pm | Updated: 10:42 am, Wed Jun 6, 2012.

More wasted time on the texting while driving controversy. The legislators that irk this old road cop are the ones that call for the reckless driving statute to be used, while the solons calling for a specific law against texting behind the wheel merely miss the entire thoughtless driving problem.

Arizona's law against reckless driving won't cut it. I've never known a judge who would accept a reckless driving complaint without one key element that judicially defines a willful and wanton disregard for public safety: High speed. And I don't mean any 10 to 20 mph over the limit. Blowing doors off is the standard.

What is needed is a careless driving law to cover all kinds of inattentive motoring, whether the activity is texting, cell phoning, combing hair, reading newspapers, putting on makeup, etc. It's all admittedly dangerous, but not reckless under current legal interpretations.

Going after the texters is only a partial solution in controlling the nitwits we see on our roadways.

Robert O. (Bob) McCarthy

DPS retired

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