Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Calling All Cars...

So last night the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a bill to ban people from holding cell phones while driving -- and stop all drivers 18 and under from using any cell phones. As usual, they didn't let logic or pesky facts get in the way. Ok, so using cell phones while driving IS stupid, annoying, aggravating, idiotic, and potentially distracting enough to cause an accident. I understand that. But so are all these other seemingly ok activities we've all seen (and perhaps done) while driving: scarfing down a bacon burger and large order of fries; shaving, applying makeup, trimming nose hairs; swapping cd's or searching for the all-sports, all-the-time, because-I-don't-have-a-life radio station; etc. ... So why do our enlightened (read: shortsighted or myopic) pols want to single out cell phones? Isn't it time we start looking at the big picture instead of constantly nickel-and-dimeing our way to constant harassment? Distracted driving is distracted driving, whatever the cause. Are the pols too dumb to see that? (rhetorical question) If they are truly concerned about the dangers of distracted driving, instead of simply grandstanding as usual in front of the latest windmill, they'd be attacking the whole problem instead of just picking off the low hanging fruit. And banning all cell phone use by drivers under 18 is just another example of the Smith Hill Hacks taking potshots at easy targets. Ok, tests have shown that young drivers using cell phones have lowered reaction time equal to drivers in their late 60's or 70's who aren't using cell phones. Well, what about the old geezers who ARE talking while driving? What is THEIR reaction time like - probably as slow as one of our esteemed lawmakers trying to spell "cat"? Shouldn't they be banned too? Leave it to Sen. Joseph Polisena to label this fiasco "a great piece of legislation." And it would be, if it were printed on quilted 2-ply -- much less chafing on the tuckus. (We'll ignore his gratuitous swipe at Steven Brown and the ACLU.) Oh, and a memo to Sen. Leonidas P. Raptakis, who extolled the virtues of using his hands free cell phone: don't let the fact that research has shown there is NO DIFFERENCE in distraction level between using a hands free phone and a hand held one while driving get in the way of pushing your agenda. No need to let facts get in the way of good propaganda. Of course, if the bill were to go so far as banning all distracted driving, it would sideline almost all police cars and hurt donut sales immeasurably . . .

3 Comments:

Blogger Don said...

Mike,

You raise some good points about 'grandstanding' and not attacking the whole problem. However as with anything in Rhode Island, change comes one backdoor deal at a time.

But do you really want the state house to ban eating while driving?

4/13/2005 05:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Actually, eating while driving doesn't bother me. I just wish the fools on the hill would stop legislating without thinking...

4/13/2005 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...

People need to feel that Government is out to protect them. So legislators pass frivolous laws in an attempt to prove to people that they are needed in order to protect us from ourselves. But in reality, the more laws that are passed only creates more lawlessness.

4/19/2005 03:08:00 PM  

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