Letters to the editor for February 15, 2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dear Editor

Dear Editor,

Today with lawmakers discussing tightening up the seatbelt laws and restricting teens from cell phone chat while cruising under the wheel, I think they may be overlooking the biggest threat to bodily harm in a vehicle.

Tobacco smoke is now classified as toxic secondhand smoke out in California.

Back in 2000, I interviewed 16 teenage boys in a Kentucky YMCA basketball league for a weekly game program with the question: Would you rather ride in a car with the driver talking on a cell phone or the driver smoking with all the windows up?

All 16 of these Kentucky teens answered from the number one smoking state in the US, I had rather ride with the driver talking on a cell phone than smoking.

Nine out of 10 of these same YMCA basketball players immediately declared in a different game program that they had rather ride without their seatbelt than with a smoker in the car.

Bet the farm that our southern leaders would never allow our kids to ride around enclosed in vehicles with toxic exhaust leaks?

Wouldn&8217;t it be nice if our southern states could be the engine on the Choo Choo Train of Deliverance for Humanity instead of the caboose?

My suggested legal punishment for adults smoking with a child in the car would be 20 hours of community service work (supervised by youth groups and organizations) at the busiest intersection in town with the sign, &8220;Kids, please forgive me.&8221;

Mike Sawyer