This is the last text I received before …

Abigail Chaff

By now, everyone has heard about the new law that bans texting while driving. The bill became effective on Friday, March 1. Under the current law, no person under the age of 18 is allowed to use any wireless communication device while driving; not even to make a phone call or change the route on their GPS.

Drivers over the age of 18 are permitted to talk on a cell phone, but no other use of wireless devices is legal.

The first violation carries a $150 fine and a license suspension of 60 days. A second offense is a $300 fine and one year license suspension. If you are over 18, it is only illegal to use a handheld electronic communications device to write or text while driving. This minor misdemeanor could bring a $150 fine, according to

This is a little hard for me to bite my tongue on. The more responsible part of my brain is telling me to say “It’s about time we put down the cellphones and keep people safe on the roads.” But there is this other, rebellious side that is screaming “Why do I have to listen to you?”

I’m one of those people who doesn’t want to do anything anyone tells me to. Of course, I know that texting while driving is bad. When behind the wheel of a huge vehicle with the capability to reach high speeds and powered by highly flammable gasoline, you should probably watch what you’re doing.

So many lives have been shattered by someone too self-involved to put down their phone and look at the road. I couldn’t imagine the pain of loosing someone you love by such a senseless act.

There is no preparation for a car accident; there is no way to prepare. A car accident doesn’t slowly drain the life out of you like cancer. There isn’t always the opportunity to fight and beat the beast and survive.

The choice of hurting or killing someone because you are using a cell phone is entirely yours. Be a little smarter, people. Really, it’s not that hard to wait.
So that was the sensible spiel, but I told you there is that little angry non-conformist in me that is saying, “Now just wait a minute.”

To me, it feels like the government realized they made an oopsie and is now trying to backtrack and come down hard on the cell phone murderers.

Remember back in the 50s when everyone smoked cigarettes? In the movies, on airplanes, in hospitals — even pregnant women. Then came the 70s and Nixon ruined it for everybody. No more cigarette ads on TV, and that was just the beginning. No more smoking inside, higher taxes and shame; shame on all of you.

It was like the government taking away our favorite toy. “The Man” knelt down and said, “Hey people of the free world, you know that thing you love to do and your favorite friend ever? Well it will kill you and you can’t have it anymore unless you pay 10 more dollars.”

Now here comes cell phones. Everyone loves them; everyone practically needs them. Try to remember the last time you forgot your cell phone at home for the day, or you got a little too drunk and dropped on the floor of the bar and consequently had it stolen. You freaked out, didn’t you?

Now think about what you would do if someone told you you weren’t allowed to talk on your cell phone anymore. You’d be pretty mad, wouldn’t you?

In a few years, when doctors discover that cell phone waves give you brain tumors and have to develop telekinetic communication, will it be our fault for becoming dependent on our mobile device? Will we be chastised for our addiction by advertisements saying “Friends don’t let friends use hand held
cell phones?”

I’m sure by this point I’ve lost a few of you. I’m sure you’re thinking I’m a dumb, nicotine addicted harpy who has no regard for human life. I swear that’s really not my point. All I’m trying to say is, if you give the kiddies a toy, don’t be mad when they use it.

I’d like to think that accidents involving wireless communication devices are just God’s way of thinning the herd, but unfortunately, his numbskulls are endangering other people’s lives, and not just their own.

If you aren’t smart enough not to use your phone, or laptop, or tablet, or iPod, you’re probably not smart enough to drive a car. I really don’t think anything is so important you can’t at least wait for a red light.

This law mostly prohibits teenagers, but if we can’t trust them to not use their cell phones while driving, why are we letting them drive at all? Ask yourself what it’s really about.