Thursday, September 3, 2009

Article of the Day: Text Messaging Ban and Utah's Imprisonment

Utah’s legislature has taken one of the toughest stances, passing a law that imposes a penalty of up to 15 years in prison for texting while driving.

The above quote was extracted from an article on MSN that discussed lawmakers' goal to ban text messaging in many ensuing States. Utah is taking an excessive stand on texting while driving, which is treating a violator like a violate criminal.

Imprisoning a person texting while in the seat of their vehicle is extreme. Will Utah actually prosecute a person to the extent of the law? Their 15 year in prison penalty is going to send their state spiraling down, causing them to severe serious budget constraints.

California's budget crisis is due to the 3-strikes-and-you're-out law. Lawmakers originally wrote the law to confront violence criminals, but the implementation process misdirected the scope of the law, causing many non-violent crimes to be locked away for 25 years to life.

Due to the 3 Strike's law, California's budget unraveled, causing the state billions in added costs to imprison these criminals. Imagine using a violate law to place a nonviolent criminal in prison for the rest of their life because of stealing a piece of pizza, writing a bad check for $150, and for other minor offenses that are felonies.

Poor policymaking takes away funding from other programs. Utah plans to unveil a law that target drivers for text messaging. Should there be any inclusions as to which violators are to be imprisoned? The prison time should fit the severity of the crime. Are drunk drivers going to receive the same offense, or may even less, for killing another in a fatal accident?

Utah's law, and any other State that offer such an extreme sentence for text messaging is mismanaging policymaking - abusing power. After the Utah law, I feel that more needs to done about confronting other damaging issues than to imprison people for up to 15 years for texting while driving. It will be interesting whether the courts' wil actually carry out any texting sentences

Why punish the taxpayers' for another person text messaging? A fine should be proposed for text messaging. The fine could as much as it is for littering on the road while driving. Policymakers looking to vote on the text messaging law must consider the cost to the State. In retrospect, making poor decisions in the lawmaking will have a long-term impact on a State, their citizens, and the integrity of legal system itself.

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