Friday, March 12, 2010
I've Outgrown the Babysitter...
In the State of Washington, pressing a phone to your ear and talking while driving is against the law. Currently a second offense, this means drivers must disobey another traffic rule first, before they can be cited for what some have called a highly dangerous and distracting activity.
I would contend, that retrieving a screaming child’s dropped bottle from a rear floor mat or dipping double bacon cheesy fries in a milkshake perched in the steering wheel while driving are equally dangerous and distracting. Fumbling to prevent a single Cadbury Mini Egg from rolling beneath the front seat easily robs quadruple the attention answering a phone call does.
On taxpayer dimes, lawmakers in the state’s capitol debate whether there is merit in toughening the ban already in place; changing it to allow law enforcement the authority to cite wrongdoers even in the absence of another traffic infraction. A headset or hands free device would still be required for cell phone use while driving.
Much of the data collected simply does not support the “oh my gosh” belief that there has been an exponential rise in traffic fatalities related to traveling phone conversations. Further, requiring drivers to use headsets when talking on their cells has no demonstrable impact on the number of crashes, according to new findings from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).
While not disputing that distracted drivers of any kind may also be dangerous drivers, the haphazard over regulation in areas which should remain under the discretion of individual citizens, puffs up the system and restricts liberty. No law exists banning the “right handed retrieval of tossed binkies while driving” even though this also poses the risk of collision. No additional rules required for safe operation of my vehicle, I've outgrown the babysitter.
Any statute determined to micro manage individual behavior effects no absolute compliance and delivers only perceived increases in societal safety. The resulting outcome is ultimately a pudgy Uncle Sam who claims more space and smells increasingly stout.
Return my iphone usage discretion, get out of my van and quit eating the rolling Cadbury Mini Eggs.
I’ve got it from here.
POSTED AT 10:22 PM