I once tried to eat a soft taco while driving. Once.

Half of my meal ended up on my truck’s floorboard. The other half on my shirt.

To this day, I blame that taco sauce-stained shirt for my failure at my job interview with NASA that afternoon. I doubt my ignorance of science, and mathematics, and space, had anything to do with it.

Madison Turner was not so lucky.

A number of years ago, Turner was eating a double Quarter Pounder with cheese from McDonald’s in Marietta when he was pulled over by a police officer and given a ticket. He wasn’t speeding. He wasn’t driving recklessly. And just eating a double Quarter Pounder with cheese isn’t illegal — yet. But it is apparently illegal to “eat while driving” in Cobb County. Huh?

According to a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Turner was cited under Georgia’s distracted driving law.

“Eating while driving” is illegal? In Georgia? The state where you can take a gun to church?

The law cited by the officer requires drivers to “not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle.”

This is the law that officers use to stop people from texting while driving. I get that. But isn’t the language of the law rather broad? “Any actions which shall distract such driver” could mean anything — listening to the radio, reading billboards or a good novel, yelling at children in the back seat.

With our legislature currently in session, I think it’s past time to close this loophole and make it more specific.

Heck, I’ll do it for them: “A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways, byways, roads, avenues, thoroughfares, alleys, and driveways of this state, paved and not paved, and shall not engage in: texting on a cell phone; reading text or watching videos on a cellphone; operating a laptop computer; any type of physical horseplay or cuddling; eating a soft taco, or submarine sandwich of more that two inches in length; utilizing chopsticks in any way; eating (or slurping) chili or soup of any kind; eating a watermelon or any kind of large melon; eating an entire, uncut pizza of more than six inches in diameter; turning around while driving and saying ‘if you kids don’t stop that, I’m going to stop this car (or truck, or minivan, or school bus)’; reading a magazine (newspapers are okay); having a toddler or small dog in your lap; or fishing.”

I think that should about cover it. Hamburgers are okay, as are chicken nuggets and strips. And as a bonus, I cleared up the obvious oversight of including other forms of roadways, other than just “highways.” Dirt roads don’t need distracted drivers, either.

While it may be too late for me and my career with NASA, banning the eating of tacos while driving, while allowing citizens the fundamental right to eat hamburgers while driving, is just basic common sense. C’mon, lawmakers, fix this and stop Mayor McCheese from crying tears of ketchup any longer.

Email Len Robbins at lrobbins@theclinchcountynews.com.

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