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Opinion

Akron Council panders in its decision, says reader

3/21/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

It’s said, “You just can’t fix stupid!” Such would aptly apply to the mindlessness of the Akron City Council’s March 11 decision in how, in all its (lack of) collective wisdom, it opted to address the menacing scourge to public safety that is “texting while driving.” Accordingly, I propose the Council go ahead and shamelessly rename itself the Akron City Pandering Council, for that’s exactly what it’s shown itself to be here. All it apparently took was the whining, race-baiting, anti-police hypothesis of a couple special interests groups in the area for the Council to weakly succumb by trumpeting the message, loud and clear, that it places their special interests as being of greater importance and of much higher priority than that of the sheer safety of the whole of Akron’s driving public.

So, I’ve now a scenario I wish to pose. Were an adult motorist to drive alongside an Akron police patrol vehicle, honk their horn to get the officer’s attention, all the while continuing to drive, then, in full view of “one of Akron’s finest,” literally proceed with donning blinders, thereby completely covering their eyes and rendering themselves temporarily blinded at intermittent five-second intervals (the average time multiple respected studies have determined a texting individual takes their eyes off the road at a time), but (continuing with this scenario) the adult motorist did just that and nothing else ... by the Council’s sageless way of thinking, that officer should have no authority and would actually be out of line to pull over such an obvious, stunt-ridden menace to the general public’s immediate safety. Such boggles the mind.

In essence, the Akron City Council has just seen fit to repudiate the results of multiple reputable studies; of the irrefutable, statistically proven fact that “texting while driving” is actually of greater danger to motorists than is “driving while intoxicated.” It’s not like the Council didn’t act in the face of first having presented before it the aforementioned studies’ results, not to mention both the testimony as well as the written outcry of numerous other locals representing the common sense safety interests of the entire community. Still, it voted to fecklessly make it a secondary vs. a substantive primary driving offense for adults to “text and drive” simultaneously.

The readers need just ask themselves whether driving while intermittently wearing blinders, five seconds at a time, does or does not constitute the “reckless operation of a motor vehicle?” By driving in such a manner, would a driver not be operating a vehicle with a “willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property,” which by the way, is the very definition of reckless operation? Go figure ... because I can’t.

Bill Fairweather, West Akron

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