It would be appropriate to celebrate the Legislature’s approval of a ban on texting while driving, if it weren’t so sad that such a law was necessary.

What’s next? A ban on steering with your feet? Outlawing the use of drapes on the windshields of moving vehicles?

Unfortunately, there is a need for the law because there is a cohort of drivers who think they have the skills to read and type messages on a cellphone while sitting behind the wheel.

If they were the only ones at risk, we could decide to let them learn the hard way what a stupid choice they had made. But unfortunately, it’s more than the drivers who are affected. Their passengers and anyone unlucky enough to be in their path could also pay the price for their reckless behavior.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, who conducted extensive public hearings on the issue. His cites research that shows a driver who texts is just as impaired as a driver who is well over the legal limit for drunken driving.

On its own, a $100 fine might not be enough to stop the worst gadget addicts. But fear of a ticket may get the message to new drivers and others that texting while driving is a serious safety breach and is not acceptable behavior.

It’s too bad we need a law for that, but we do and it’s time we had one.