12 Viewpoint: Don Richards on smoking and cell phones

By Don Richards, NBC12 Vice President and General Manager

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The no-smoking bill passed by the general assembly is intended to protect the health of patrons and workers in restaurants. Not everyone is happy with this legislation, but second-hand smoke will soon become less of a health-risk in public places.

Meanwhile, the General assembly is working on a bill to make text messaging while driving a violation. That's a good idea, but why stop there?

Why not drivers dialing numbers and holding conversations with the phone in their hand?

If the General Assembly wants to protect the public, then all text messaging, dialing and handheld phone using while driving should be banned.

None of us really has a choice whether to use public roads. We're forced to share the road and assume the risk of distracted drivers with one hand on the wheel and the other on the phone.

Virginia should join other states and the District of Columbia in banned all but hands-free cell phone use in moving vehicles.

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