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Legislating common sense

March 6, 2009 - Michael Palmer
The push is on to legislate common sense again, this time there is a bill to ban cell phone use while driving. Does any one else find this law a little narrow-minded and intrusive.

The National Safety Council said states should ban drivers from using hand-held and hands-free cell phones, and businesses should prohibit employees from using cell phones while driving on the job. Many states are starting to gather cell phone-related crash data, but for the most part, the verdict is still out.

As of December, handheld cell phone restrictions for most drivers have been passed by legislatures in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Washington and any cell phone use for public and school bus drivers in a handful of other states.

Myself, this law would not bother much, as I get very few calls while driving. However, there are some staff members here who talk more on their cell phones while driving than - say - a very popular teenage girl.

I believe the majority of people who talk on the phone or listen to an iPod while driving are able to navigate just fine, without having to stop what they’re doing. We call it multi-tasking and management at most businesses feel that everyone is now capable of this.

I don’t think the problem is cell phone use.

Like in other big-brother legislation regarding seat belts, guns, alcohol; the problem usually boils down to the sad conclusion that some (most) people don’t make intelligent decisions. Like the tag on your blow dryer that says not to use it in the shower, this type of legislation is only necessary because of the mental midgets who can’t figure out when is and when isn’t a good time to talk on the phone. This type of legal action has historically detered few from such foolishness, an example in other area’s of motor vehicle concern would be the DUI laws. The consistant conviction rates for driving under the influence should illustarte that making the activity illegal won’t alleviate the problems stupidity cause.

Hands free devices are very affordable, so if you are a constant cell talker, invest please. The issue of texting while driving is an entirely different concern, people who do this are just kidding themselves if they think this is not distracted driving.

Come on people, isn’t this just common sense? The problem is that people don’t just hurt themselves when they drive dangerously. These accidents often injure innocent people, so we must legislate against and punish those drivers, whom natural selection would otherwise eliminate, in order to protect ourselves.

What should be the punishment? Where do we draw the line? Should hands free be included? If we place bans on talking while driving; then do we go after the cyclists? Yes, the law makers already have targeted bicycle riders in other states and now the legislators are going after pedestrians in major metroploitan areas.

I had better wrap this up, my cell phone is ringing again!


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