Mississippi’s Facebook face-plant

Mississippi flag for texting law articleMississippi appears ready to leave the ranks of states with toothless distracted driving laws, by finally approving a texting & driving bill that includes all motorists, regardless of age.

Great news. Perhaps Mississippi will get off that rogue’s roundup of states with the lamest traffic laws, prepared annually by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety group.

But it’ll go kicking and screaming from our “dumb-and-dumber states” list. The plan sent to the governor March 10 includes a curious ban on handheld use of “social networking sites” — meaning only those web sites on which users can create profiles and chat with others. That’s the extent of the legislation’s prohibition on Internet use.

Meaning a driver can’t check her Facebook page on her smartphone, but remains free to read the local newspaper’s web site while barreling down the road. (Good luck to the cops sorting out that one.) Or maybe she’ll be too busy chatting on her cell phone.

It’s a start, sure, but you have to wonder if the legislation’s author thinks Facebook is the Internet. Scary.

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