Very often the editors of Mediaite come across stories featuring state-elected officials doing or saying dumb things, but we often pass on them because they are often local stories. And, like any sub-group of people, there is a wide range of behaviors on display by State senators. Bringing attention to the poor judgment of a state-level official can feel mean-spirited or not worthy of amplifying.
But every rule has an exception and this is such an example.
Sen. Andrew Brenner, is a Republican elected official representing Delaware in Ohio and participated in a ZOOM call while driving. He tried (and failed) to obscure the fact he was driving, by using a background image of what appears to be his home. As you can see in the video above, (via Gizmodo) Brenner is wearing a seat belt and navigating traffic while he drives. But that’s not even the worse part.
This ZOOM call occurred on the very same day that Ohio Senate was considering a — wait for it — Distracted Driving Bill. House Bill 283, introduced Monday, calls for “a ban on writing, sending or reading texts, viewing videos or taking photos, live streaming, and using applications while driving,” according to The Columbus Dispatch.
The same report offered Brenner’s explanation:
“I wasn’t distracted. I was paying attention to the driving and listening to it (the meeting,)” Brenner said. “I had two meetings that were back to back that were in separate locations. And I’ve actually been on other calls, numerous calls, while driving. Phone calls for the most part but on video calls, I’m not paying attention to the video. To me, it’s like a phone call.”
He added that he was parked during most of the video meeting of the Ohio Controlling Board. “I was wearing a seat belt and paying attention to the road.”
So don’t ZOOM and drive kids! Not only could you end up become a national story of embarrassment, but there is also the danger to yourself and other drivers from being distracted!