The Water Cooler – Eating, Reading, Shaving, Putting On Makeup, Etc. – Should It Be Illegal While Driving?

June 13, 2018 12:32 pm · 37 comments


The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

Driving while talking or texting is already illegal, but should we also make it against the law to do other things that distract you while driving, like eating, reading, shaving, putting on makeup, etc.?

Talk about it….

Kentucky Derby June 13, 2018 at 12:37 PM

Absolutely. Focus on driving and leave all that aside. Or take the bus.

Blink June 13, 2018 at 2:18 PM


Cindy June 13, 2018 at 12:42 PM

10 and 2………….

ClayDen June 13, 2018 at 3:37 PM

Actually, it’s 9 and 3. However, 10 and 2 is better than 1 hand somewhere on the wheel and the other doing something else.

Simonpure June 13, 2018 at 12:44 PM

I thought all those things fall under distracted driving anyway. Isn’t that illegal already?

Roz June 13, 2018 at 5:32 PM

It should be,…also changing radio stations and smoking.
Simonpure,…I’m down to 4 a day!

Simonpure June 13, 2018 at 8:07 PM

AWESOME!!! 2 down 4 to go.

Cellophane June 13, 2018 at 12:49 PM

I believe there are far too many laws and regulations governing peoples behavior.

I also believe that penalties for doing some really dumb stuff are far too lenient.

If someone drives irresponsibly and causes a collision, they should not be allowed to drive again.

Marfinlee June 13, 2018 at 4:23 PM

That seems a bit harsh to never drive again, my suggestion would be a suspended DL until a driving course is completed.

old trucker June 13, 2018 at 12:49 PM

I could add to the list but this is a family site…

martinezmike June 13, 2018 at 12:52 PM

Driving while talking is already illegal? Oh nooooooo……! I believe that when the first radios were put in cars, the same argument was made. Distractions are everywhere. Are more laws the answer?

marinemom June 13, 2018 at 12:57 PM

That’s why they have self diving cars. You can put on your make up and look good when you get in a accident.

Concordejet June 13, 2018 at 1:00 PM

I just wonder if singing would count while driving

CoCoCommenter June 13, 2018 at 4:56 PM

Gotta close those eyes to hit the high notes

Roz June 13, 2018 at 5:28 PM

If my Husband was singing,…there would be accidents.

Simonpure June 13, 2018 at 8:09 PM

OMG Roz…absolutely hilarious!

Jojo Potato June 13, 2018 at 1:05 PM

Make whatever you want illegal. Nobody cares! At the stop light this morning all 10 cars waiting had the drivers playing on their phones. When’s that next rocket to Mars? Book me!

Dorothy June 13, 2018 at 1:17 PM

What kind of eating? Soup would be out but bananas OK? What about fiddling with various knobs or buttons? Then there is all the lovely scenery to look at on twisty roads.

George June 13, 2018 at 1:38 PM

If 55% of California supports ILLEGAL immigration then why would people care to follow the driving laws? It maybe illegal … but does it matter?

Dawg June 13, 2018 at 1:44 PM

Before they create new laws, they should focus on enforcing the laws that are already on the books and prosecuting the offenders

loose nut June 13, 2018 at 1:46 PM

The auto companies are already making it easier for us to drive distracted with all the electronic gadgets they are putting in the new vehicles so the driver does not have to pay much attention. We seem to be the test rats for the self driving cars!
I will keep driving my older vehicle…

Stove June 13, 2018 at 2:24 PM

your called “beta testers”

Kirkwood June 13, 2018 at 3:15 PM

Anything that takes your eyes inside the car should be illegal. Touch screens are going to kill people. Self driving cars will have to be able to predict what any human might do at any time. All roads in the country have to be uniformly marked. Are you ready to drive up Mt. Diablo blindfolded?

Goggies June 13, 2018 at 1:53 PM

Make a law preventing dogs from riding in the laps of drivers. Horrible.

I am sure the pet is a mess when the air bag explodes.

Lena June 13, 2018 at 1:55 PM

Most of the instrument panels on new cars are a distraction.

Original G June 13, 2018 at 3:54 PM

Had car serviced at dealership twice, last loaner was a 4 door truck with useless short bed and if you changed channels on radio too frequently a screen pops up that warns you of distracted driving and it locks you out of radio until you tap OK on the screen.

So just to be nice switched language to French just before dropping it off and picking up my car.

Lena June 14, 2018 at 9:52 PM

Mine keeps spontaneously switching to kilometers and liters … an American car. I think it’s trying to tell me simething.

Doh June 13, 2018 at 3:00 PM

If it takes your eyes off the road don’t do it. We can’t make it a black & white issue. Make up requires a mirror so no.
Before built in navigation I would glance at a list for the next exit, street name or landmark. But texts or cell phone yes. The police need discretion. I have actually seen people reading a book wile doing 50 MPH. That is too much of a distraction so I lean on my horn to remind them where they are.

The same discretion applies to eating. When I drive to Tahoe I have an open bag of snacks that I can grab one without looking at it. I saw a woman with a container and the steering wheel in her left hand and a fork in her right hand while driving 65 MPH on 24. That is too much.

The Mamba June 13, 2018 at 3:21 PM

Driving while exhausted is more lethal than any of those things, and we aren’t enforcing the goddamn cellphone law, so what’s the point? Pass more laws our police and sheriff’s departments aren’t staffed to enforce to virtue signal? Pass.

ONIWY June 13, 2018 at 3:52 PM

Seems to me as if people have really gone downhill. Back in my day, moms could chain smoke, apply lipstick, drink coffee, and slap any or all of the kids in the car silly for misbehaving. But then, according to a new study, we’re losing on average about seven IQ points per generation since 1975, so maybe people really can’t manage to do all that anymore.

Chicken Little June 13, 2018 at 5:12 PM

Bad driving for any reason should be illegal. But if you can drive safely while playing the bagpipes, more power to you. It’s a shame so many stupid laws have to be written for the lowest common denominator.

Ancient M June 13, 2018 at 8:29 PM

Used to play a harmonica one-handed while commuting on the freeway.
Didn’t affect the driving, but the sound was terrible!

blindboy June 14, 2018 at 2:54 AM

How about Dogs sitting on the laps of the drivers? Saw a dog of about 70 lbs sitting on the lap of a driver.

D.V.GUY June 14, 2018 at 7:52 AM

Distracted driving IS ALREADY against the law, the last thing we need is another useless law. This is what’s wrong with Ca., too many unenforced laws perpetuated by the fact they weren’t needed.
If you can’t enforce a basic concept like all distracted driving is illegal then why be specific, WE NEED TO THIN OUR LAWS NOT CREATE MORE.

The Grant June 14, 2018 at 12:23 PM

I constantly see women putting on makeup while driving in the fast lane on highway 24.
Drives me nuts since they drive like an accordion and leave 10 car lengths ahead of themselves while doing <60.

Tiger June 14, 2018 at 8:30 PM

No more laws, very few are enforced. Why bother

Rob R. June 14, 2018 at 10:41 PM

I’ve been commuting from Concord to S.F. by motorcycle for over 12 years and have seen it all. Car drivers smoking dope (common), texting or reading their cell phone (very common when traffic slows), shaving, putting on make-up, rolling a cigarette/joint (?) while steering with their knees, reading whatever (?) and I even saw a woman eating a bowl of cerial (with two hands) while “driving” the other day. These people have inadvertently run me off the road on two or three occasions and are *killing* motorcyclists with their extremely dangerous negligence to the task of driving.

The penalties for such behaviors should be severe as a $25 fine ain’t cutting it.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: