Monday, January 22, 2007

BABY YOU CAN DRIVE MY CAR

If Billy Clyde had an older male sibling, he would hate him.
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No me gusta Big Brother.
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I bring this up because BC didn't go through the last House Daily Report until this morning, when he was treated to HB 652, which deals with "inattentive driving." It was brought to us by Representative Chente Quintanilla, normally a level-headed public servant with good ideas and plenty of common sense. Guess the Busy-Body Lobby caught him in a weak moment.
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BC is gonna cover the highlights, but if you're a huge nerd and for some reason think you need to read it yourself, have at it.
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In a nutshell, the bill doubles traffic fines for folks who are drinking Big Gulps while speeding or changing talk radio stations while gently rolling through a stop sign. Were this measure to become law, here are the things that you would do in the truck at your own legal peril:
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"(1) reading; (2) writing; (3) performing personal grooming; (4) consuming food or a beverage; (5) interacting with a pet; (6) interacting with a vehicle passenger; (7) using a personal communications device; or (8) engaging in another activity that prevents the operator from safely operating the motor vehicle."
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Let's do an informal BA on this baby. Number 6 seems to mean that you couldn't talk to the person riding in the front seat with you. That seems harsh, but conceivably could be a good thing -- depending on the passenger. "Be quiet. It's against the law for me to talk to you."
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But the last provision, Number 8, is just wrong wrong wrong. I ask you, cowboys and cowgirls, to think of ALL the things that this could apply to. Now narrow your thoughts down. No down further. Just go down. Come on, go down. (editors note: This is a family blog, so we cannot be inappropriately graphic. But if you haven't figured out what BC is talking about, imagine yourself driving a Hummer.)
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This is Texas, by golly, and the thing referred to in the preceding paragraph is as much a part of our culture as high school football, barbecue and trashing Yankees.
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In a blatant attempt to appeal to my legions of female readers, BC also points to page 1, line 24 and page 2, lines 1-2, which specifically makes applying makeup, combing your hair or "attending to another personal hygiene or appearance task" a Class C misdemeanor.
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In a blatant attempt to appeal to my legions of directionally challenged readers, BC alerts you to page 2, line 19, which specifically includes using "a geographic positioning system receiver" to the list of prohibited activities. When I read that, BC thought to himself: So THAT'S what GPS stands for. You learn something new everyday.
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Not even gonna start on the potential legal quagmires that the prohibition on "interacting with a pet" present, but suffice to say that I feel safer on the wide open road when my fellow driver swats Fido out of the driver's seat so the motorist can actually see the highway. Call me old fashioned; that's just the way I feel.
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If you hate pets, good grooming, Big Gulps, listening to the radio and, most importantly, Hummers, then by all means support House Bill 652. But count me out.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

BC,

Though #6 could save a few marriages, I gotta agree with you. Denying a man his Hummer is just wrong.

However, this bill needs to get to the floor, if only for the amendments to exclude other behaviors under #8.

For example, I can see Tuffy Hamilton with a "removal of dried and/or wet mucus by use of a human digit" amendment to take care of his constituents. Sadly, he may be conflicted out.

Anonymous said...

http://www.vanityfair.com/fame/features/2007/01/ojsimpson200701

Miss M said...

It's the enforcement aspect that's problematic. Imagine the burden of proving 4) and 8). Though I guess it would create an incentive to be neat and not spill.

Winston Smith said...

You know I've just got to say it, "I love big brother"!

It should be pointed out that unless you get stopped for something else, these activities are not prohibited.

The key point is to not drive your hummer off the road.

Billy Clyde said...

Dear Anon 1:

Two rules on this site. No booger/snot jokes, and don't make fun of Tuffy and his people.

Dear Anon 2:

Thanks for the link, although it was not on topic. Maybe you think I still have a irrational fascination with the whole O.J. deal, but ... well, I still do. So gracias.

Dear Miss M:

Excellent point. Glad you swallowed the concept without spitting it out.

Dear WS:

If I had gone to great lengths to explain that the bill applies to activities detected in conjunction with an underlying traffic offense, the post would be even less funny. So back off.

Miss M said...

You've managed to help me finish off my evening with a long chuckle.

Anonymous said...

junior. whenever i think of the juice i think of you. and the world's biggest thermomether.

Anonymous said...

We can all rest easy, because it is a Quiantanilla bill. Ain't a chance in hell it's passing.

Anonymous said...

Good day


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