X-rated road viewing

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

It was bound to happen. With the advent of DVD players in automobiles, someone was sure to watch X-rated movies while on the road.

Scott Rupp, a state representative from Wentzville, Mo., doesn't like the fact that his daughter might also see the adult movies in another motorist's car. Rupp has filed a bill that would make it a crime for drivers to allow sexually graphic material to be shown in their vehicles if it can be seen by children in other vehicles. That would be a tough law to enforce. And who is to say when a DVD is sexually graphic? If the legislator -- who has good intentions -- is that worried about sexually graphic content, he must not allow the TV in his home to be turned on during prime time.

Something Rupp might want to consider is legislation that bans the installation of DVD players in vehicles where they can be seen by drivers. Sexual content or G-rated family fare should not be anywhere it can detract a motorist from paying attention to safe driving.

And what about those high-decibel boom boxes testosterone-laden young men install in their automobiles? They spew song lyrics most of us wouldn't want our children asking questions about. (See letter below.) And what about those obscene hand gestures other motorists use to express their irritation with their fellow travelers? And what about those who watch adult movies on their home entertainment systems -- which may be visible to passers-by on the street?

In the end, this issue comes down to what society is willing to accept. We don't see many X-rated bumper stickers, law or no law. Boom boxes and hand gestures aside, most motorists observe a certain level of decorum on the road. Motorists who watch pornographic videos on their car's DVD player have an unusual sense of what's acceptable. What their parents weren't able to teach them isn't likely to stick because of a new law.

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