Hang Up on Cell Phone Legislation Libertarians Say
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Tim O'Brien
DEARBORN. "This new proposal to
give motorists a second ticket for being on the phone while committing a
driving infraction reminds me of that great, old line by Yogi Berra," said
Libertarian Party of Michigan chair Stacy Van Oast, "It's deja vu all over
According to sponsor Bruce Patterson (R-Canton), House Bill 4158
would impose a secondary $25 fine and one point on the record of any driver
whose use of a cell phone "causes" him or her to commit a traffic violation.
"Obviously," Van Oast continued, "it's impossible to prove -- or, more
to the point for accused motorists, disprove -- what 'caused' a traffic
offense. So, if this bill passes," she asked, "how long will it be before the
legislature is back wanting to simply make cell phone use while driving a
"Remember when the seat belt bill was sold to a wary
public on the promise that the ticket would only be written if the motorist was
stopped for having committed some other violation and also found not to be
'buckled up'? It took barely a decade for the nanny-state politicians to break
their promise and make 'failure to wear a seat belt' a primary offense.
"The biggest difference between the seat belt rule and this new cell
phone proposal is that they aren't even bothering to lie about their long-term
agenda," she added. "So, instead of ten years it will probably be more like one
or two before they want to outright prohibit motorists from enjoying the
convenience and efficiency of cell phone technology."
She said the LPM
will urge its nearly 2,000 members to contact their legislators and oppose HB
"We've seen this trick before," Van Oast concluded. "And in the
words of another great phrase maker: We don't get fooled again!"