Ah, in-car cell phone bans. Austin is contemplating one at the behest of some nanny state do-gooder group. Naturally, a local news station decided to feature a different distraction in its montage of people fiddling with their iThings while stuck in butt-numbing rush hour traffic.

While there are many times when using a cell phone in a car is a horrible idea, it's just one of many distractions. I'm fine with folks who want to check a map at a stoplight or choose a playlist when they're in completely deadlocked stop-and-uh, more stopping in our case traffic.

Trying to ban all distractions from a car is an exercise in futility at best, not to mention an enforcement nightmare for the cops tasked with spotting people using a tiny palm-sized rectangle in an enclosed vehicle.

Your friends are a distraction, as is your radio, that fly that just came in the window and your aircon that's not blowing cold enough. Oh, and if you're in a 991 Targa, your roof is a big distraction. Roof folds up. Roof folds dooooown. Roof folds uuuuuup—THIS BUTTON IS MY FAVORITE THING AND I WOULD LIKE TO PRESS IT MORE.


You get the idea. Be responsible. Focus on traffic. Anything that takes your focus off of driving should be put away, and even kept out of reach if the temptation is too high.

We have laws against not giving enough attention to the situation at hand. I believe the term is "driving without due care and attention," or if you're really bad at balancing a steering wheel and your Starbucks while texting your mom with one knee (ugh), "reckless driving." Those should be enforced without having to bother with additional legislation.

If you happen to be the fellow at 1:03 in this montage of stoplight boredom, this study says that you're probably not the worst person to share a road with, but do keep in mind that this isn't Washington and that is something that's currently banned here. The little flame is just a tiny bit easier to spot than a handheld rectangle of metal, glass and plastic, too.


At least this explains what's going on with all the ultra-slow drivers 'round here...just in case the giant statue of Willie Nelson didn't.

(H/T dapper_otter)