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Starting on July 1, 2018, Georgia will suffer a new law, the Hands-Free Georgia Act, HB 673 (2018). Said Act is allegedly aimed at preventing “distracted driving,” or, at least, certain kinds of distracted driving by certain people. The usual exalted classes are exempted. Per the preamble, it amends:

Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, so as to prohibit actions which distract a driver while operating a motor vehicle; to provide for the proper and safe use of wireless telecommunications devices and stand-alone electronic devices while driving; to provide for definitions; to prohibit certain actions while operating a commercial motor vehicle; to provide for violations; to provide for punishment …

In brief, they don’t want Georgians holding mobile phones while talking, texting, or emailing. The viewing of and recording of videos is also prohibited. Safe use. Punishment. Control. Obey.

The vote, in both houses of the Generally Useless Assembly, was a wonder of that thing they call bipartisanship. The Act passed the House, 144-18 (with several members loafing about elsewhere); in the Senate, only one decent man had the nerve to stand up against mob hysteria.

Safety is a big seller when it comes to laws. I wanted to quote Ben Franklin here, but we’ll not wear out the liberty/safety trade line. Here’s an older admonition, seemingly ratified by “your” representatives:

Only a few prefer liberty, the majority seek nothing more than fair masters.”

– Gaius Sallustius “Sallust” Crispus, Histories, 1st Century, BC.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.