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They want to change my cell habits

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Column by Jim Clark

So now the feds want to take away my right to use my cell phone in my car, including a hands-free device. Talk about government intrusion into something that is none of their business.
I’ll concede that sometimes talking on a cell phone that is not hands-free can be distracting. And I don’t believe anyone should be texting or checking e-mail while driving. The only things that should be allowed are by voice.
But trying to ban a hands-free device is completely out of line.
What about companies such as Onstar, who provide you with a voice phone with your service in your car? Are they going to force this company to take out this factory-installed feature?
But if they’re going to ban use of cell phones by the hands, what about other things? Here’s a list of things I’ve seen people doing on the roads.
Eating a sandwich with one hand and holding a drink in another, while trying to drive at the same time. Is the government going to ban all eating in cars by the driver?
Trying to change a CD in the CD player while driving down the road. Are we going to ban all CD players in cars? Are you only going to be allowed to listen to whatever CD is in your player over and over (some of us can’t afford to have fancy CD changers in the car).
Trying to change the radio station in the car. Same as CDs. Are we going to force people to listen to the same radio station all the time, changing it only when they stop? Might be OK locally but what about the Interstate where you may not stop for a couple of hours and the radio station goes out of range. (People do still listen to radio stations, don’t they?)
Trying to read a GPS as they drive down the road. Can you imagine if everyone had to suddenly stop to look up directions on their GPS? We’d probably have a bunch of rear-end collisions.
So the feds and the state need to think this over carefully. Ban texting … I’m all for that. But technology is moving a lot faster than our state legislators and federal officials. They need to let the market play out and see what people will be using in the future.
Time for me to put an end to this column. I’m almost at the office and I’ve been typing it on my laptop as I drive along State Road 200.
Don’t worry, just kidding. I’ve actually been listening to a Christmas CD over, and over, and over …

Jim Clark is the editor of the South Marion Citizen. He can be reached at editor@smcitizen.com or at 352-854-3986.