Last week, State Rep. Keith Hall of Kentucky turned thumbs down on a plan to ban text messaging while driving. He voted against HB 43 in the House Transportation Committee.
The measure succeeded, though, and went before the full House on Feb. 4. This time, Hall voted yes with the zeal of a recent convert.
“I’ve had a change of heart,” he told the House.
That’s because the night before the vote, his wife reportedly reached for her ringing cell phone and plowed into another vehicle.
“I heard the sirens go off, and my cell phone rang and they said, ‘Your wife has just had a serious traffic accident,’ he told fellow legislators during debate.
“That’ll give you an epiphany,” he said. “That’ll give you a wake-up call.”
Kentucky’s distracted driving bill HB 43, which also prevents teens from using cell phones while driving, cleared the chamber in an 80-16 vote.
People frustrated with legislative resistance to cell phone and texting legislation sometimes wonder if distracted driving has to affect lawmakers personally before they’ll vote yes.