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Alaska editorial: Don't text and drive

Posted: May 25, 2012 - 12:04am

This editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

The late Jim Morrison of The Doors had the best sponsor statement for this legislation in just 11 words:

“Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel.”

Gov. Sean Parnell signed House Bill 255 last Thursday, a bill that made explicit what lawmakers thought they had done in 2008 — banning texting while driving.

A Kenai magistrate cast doubt on the first effort in 2011, so Reps. Les Gara, D-Anchorage, and Bill Thomas, R-Haines, led a bipartisan effort to remove all doubt.

The bill bans reading or typing messages on a cellphone, computer or any other screen while operating a motor vehicle in motion.

Is it necessary to say that this is a commonsense rule of the road for the sake of everyone’s safety?

Evidently, because the Legislature had to spell it out in law.

So, as of Thursday, you text at the wheel, you’re breaking the law. Otherwise, text at will.

And try to get “Roadhouse Blues” out of your head.

Turn on the ignition, turn off the screen.

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