It is against the law to use a cell phone while driving.
The law wasn’t written, “It’s against the law to use a cell phone while driving. Unless you have something important to say.”
Or, “… unless you’re an excellent driver and think you can handle it.”
Or, “… unless you’re special.”
It’s a law. And it’s a law because our society has decided, through and with our elected officials, whom we chose to represent us, our values, and our priorities, to create such a law. Along with a whole pile of other laws.
None of these laws were written, “This is a law. Unless you don’t agree with it. In which case, ah, screw it.”
We don’t get to pick and choose which laws we follow. Using the cell phone or drinking or using whatever other distraction applies, while driving. Stopping for a STOP sign. Reducing speed in a school zone. Littering. Stealing.
Laws aren’t suggestions. They are created because ‘society’ decides that there’s a need for them. And while they should be reviewed from time to time – forbidding four-wheeled vehicles from traveling on the sidewalks was never intended to prohibit baby strollers…. – they are set in stone. Without exception. And, certainly, they can not be subject to individual discretion. If we could count on individual discretion, we would have no laws in the first place.
For the most part, it’s not even about the law itself as much as it’s about respect for the law. And respect for the people the law was created to protect. Sure, you’re probably not going to get a ticket for buzzing through a school zone at 65 when the limit is 40. But the people in that neighbourhood – you know, the ones who use it, live there, are most familiar with it – felt there was a need. And so now there’s a law. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to understand it. You just have to respect it. Just as, if you lived on the corner with small children, you too would appreciate drivers actually stopping to make absolutely sure the way was clear before going on.
It’s not about whether or not you might get caught. Or whether you think it’s necessary. Or justified. In fact, it’s not about you at all.
It’s all about respect for those most affected by the situation.
It’s the price we pay for living in a civilised society.
Every law. Every time. Whether anyone’s looking or not.
Otherwise, where does it end?
With, “I’m fed up with my neighbour. And I don’t agree with that murder law anyway. (Rub hands and laugh maniacally.)”
What do you think? Do you follow all of the rules? Or do you let a few slide? Share your thoughts in the comments above, just under the date.