by Kyle Swenson
You don't have to be a Not-In-My-Backyard Ron Paulist to appreciate a little breathing room between the government's reach and your regular spin through the daily routine. But we've got a feeling the more libertarian-leaning among you are going to get a little red about this: recently we've noticed a lot of legislation floating through the statehouse aiming to regulate your behavior behind the wheel in new nit-picking ways.
Now, it's important to keep in mind these proposals have had varying success shimmying up all the legislative chutes and ladders necessary to become actual law. Some are long shots right now. That said, if you're the kind of guy or gal who hauls Junior to Cub Scouts with a burning Marlboro balanced in your fingers as you txt ur bff about 2nites wild hh plans lol, all while keeping the Honda at a pleasure cruise 55 in the left lane of the interstate, well, it's safe to say Big Government could be intruding on your lifestyle.
Where to begin with this? The statehouse crowd is currently rolling around a proposal that would increase the speed on Ohio's interstates from 65 to 70. But there's a catch: the same proposal includes a fine print clause that would make it illegal for you to stay in the left lane unless you're passing another vehicle. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Ron Maag of Lebanon, believes the stricter rules would increase road safety, although the Ohio Highway Patrol has said they're not exactly sure how they'd enforce the law.
Across the marble hallway in the state Senate, legislators are considering a ban on all smoking inside car cabins when a kid under six riding along. The proposal is the brainchild of Columbus Sen. Charleta Tavares. Again, law enforcement is openly wondering how they can tell from eyeballing alone whether a child is six or under.
And finally, there's the texting while driving ban, or as we like to call, the Mom-Please-Put-Down-Sidekick-It's-Rush-Hour bill. Although many municipalities across the state have put their own texting bans on the books, members of the Ohio house tried to push through a state-wide ban this summer. In the senate, the bill has hit rougher waters. Currently the legislation is stranded in committee, and Senate President Tom Niehaus recently told reporters the legislation doesn't have enough support for a full vote.