DOT to Designate Distracted Driving LaneWritten by Arthur P Coodle
The West Virginia Legislature is moving forward to create "DD Lanes" or Distracted Driving Lanes based on an Elkins City Council plan announced earlier.
Earlier today, Elkins City Council member, Van Broughton, announced his idea to create special parking spaces for drivers stop and send text messages or make cell phone calls. WV Legislator Robert Beach heard about the idea and felt a similar idea would be beneficial for all West Virginia Highways, but with a twist.
After the cell phone ban passed and was signed into law, the Governor and Legislature has been bombarded by cell phone calls and texts from angry drivers who feel the law is an infringement on their rights. "What they are telling us is the ban is arbitrary and selective." Transportation and Infrastructure Chair, Robert Beach (D) said, "They want to know why they can drive while eating, putting on makeup, playing with the car navigation, changing songs on their mp3 player, and carry on full conversations with others in their vehicle -- all at the same time -- but CANNOT talk on their cell phone. Obviously, they have a point. We really didn't think much beyond 'will this make a good campaign commerical' when passing that bill."
Answering how a DD Lane would work, a WVDOT Engineer at the side of the road explained, "We figure we can section off the wide right shoulder with dividers covered in foam padding. There will be openings every 50 yards or so for people to enter and exit as they need to pick up their phone and text, or slap on a bit of lipstick. You wouldn't believe the crazy things people do while driving. This lane is a great idea."
WV State Trooper, Stan Down is optimistic. "They needed to do something, the current ban has been an enforcment nightmare. I've pulled over dozens of innocent people who were simply leaning on their hand, napping. And when someone is eating a burger with their mouth open and a drink in their hand - it can look like just their chatting away on a cell phone, but of course, that's nowhere near as dangerous."
Jeffrey Kessler (D) Senate President said, "Some might complain that we are passing contradictory laws, but I see it as doing our jobs. If we aren't passing SOME laws everyday, we aren't earning the pay raises we keep passing."
Gov. Tomblin was unable to be reached by phone for comment, since he is in an area of the state with poor cell phone service. He did however text the following response, "cant tlk now - driving back to chas. Plan to veto thes bill. idonot support txtng and drvng. lol"
Continuing his Great Grandfather's newspaper legacy, Arthur P Coodle has transformed "The West Virginia Ramp" (formerly "The West Virginia Rag") into the State-wide, Internet Phenomenon, "The Diggerer".
When not digging for news, he enjoys digging for more news.
...and long walks on the beach.
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