This is New York State Assemblyman David Gantt (D)who represents a district near Rochester. Among his responsibilities is being chair of the Assembly Committee on Transportation. And that's what brings him to our attention.
There is currently a piece of legislation in Albany that would make texting while driving illegal. The goal of the bill is to save the lives of teens, who are the most likely age group to try this very stupid activity. That bill is stuck in process and hasn't been considered by the Assembly yet. While Assemblyman Gantt insists that he is NOT blocking consideration of the bill pretty much everyone else in Albany says he is. It has already passed the Senate and has enormous support in the Assembly. If you follow big time politics you know that committee chairs can play games if they so choose. There is every indication that Mr. Gantt is doing just that.
Now I'm not questioning his smarts because he chooses to block the bill. He has that right. Blocking it against the overwhelming support of your own party? That's dumb. Refusing to meet with the mom of a teen who died in accident caused by his texting who is advocating for the bill? Really dumb.
But that's not what put me over the edge about the Assemblyman. You see he has a pet piece of legislation of his own that he'd like to see passed. One that is much more sweeping than this bill. It's a "distractions while driving" bill that would do things like make it illegal to eat while driving. Yeah, I know it's not a great practice but I do it sometimes. It wouldn't be the end of the world if I stopped and was a little safer on the road. Then I kept reading. It would make changing channels on the radio illegal.
Let me say that again.
It would make changing the station on your car radio while you're motoring down the highway against the law.
And instead of passing this simple piece of legislation that might just get some folks attention and save lives he's holding onto a bill that is just idiotic in scope. It's been floating around Albany for awhile apparently and no one wants any part of it.
Gee I wonder why?
But I guess the Assemblyman is right and all the rest of us are wrong.
Nope, I don't think so. There's only one person in this equation that dumb. Hey, 133rd Assembly District! You need to have a talk with your Assemblyman.
Check out Donn Esmonde's column in today's Buffalo News for more.