Now let me get this right.
The Texas Legislature wants to ban reading a phone while driving.
But not smoking in bars or restaurants?
In the twisted minds of Austin lawmakers, reading a text or e-mail message while driving is so terribly dangerous that police must peer into our cars to make sure we're not checking the Mavericks score.
But indoor smoking, which kills 4,000 nonsmokers yearly in Texas?
That's a sacred private property right, a symbol of freedom that must never be surrendered to government tyranny.
Do you see any hypocrisy here?
Lawmakers want the government butting into your personal car to protect others' safety.
Just not into your bar.
Look, I'm not trying to downplay the 40 deaths a year in Texas caused by texting while driving.
In particular, I'm worried that young people shouldn't be typing while driving. I support a law against sending messages.
But the Legislature wants to ban drivers from reading phones.
It won't be illegal to glance at a paper map or a handwritten note -- only at a phone.
Somehow, the Legislature sees highway safety as a paramount public concern.
Yet if those same young people get poisoned on the job -- well, that was a matter of the business owner's personal choice.
Which seems more dangerous: glancing at a weather update?
Or working every day in a smoky restaurant or bar?
If Gov. Rick Perry signs House Bill 242 by Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, then reading or sending a text, e-mail, message or tweet while driving and in motion will result in a $200 fine.
But poisoning restaurant or bar employees and guests with the arsenic and cyanide in passive smoke -- that's fine.
At least a few lawmakers were consistent. They called both the anti-texting and anti-smoking bills too bossy.
Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, wrote in a commentary that while sending texts is dangerous, "I worry about the government's intrusion on our personal lives."
"Many distractions exist for drivers such as adjusting the radio, eating, having a conversation, and putting on makeup," he wrote.
This Legislature got lost in a cloud of smoke.
Bud Kennedy's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.