I read with interest this morning the National Transportation and Safety Board's recommendation that cell phone use be banned while driving.
And while texting while driving or talking on your phone can be major distractions, I somehow feel like these two are just the whipping boys when it comes to the issue of distracted drivers. If we're going to ban these two practices, then we also need the laws that address people who put on make-up while driving, those who read a book, newspaper or other such reading material while behind the wheel (only a few weeks ago, I witnessed a driver reading a thick paperback while in the middle of morning rush hour!), changing the radio station or song on your .mp3 player while operating a car, listening to a talk show that gets you passionate in one way or another (in fact, they may have to eliminate radios entirely while driving). And I haven't even begun to cover having pets, children or other people in the car who could possibly distract you while driving.
The proposed ban doesn't even begin to consider how you possibly go about enforcing such laws. Since Tennessee passed the ban on texting while driving, I've seen numerous media reports about how the law hasn't really been enforced and how it really isn't all that easy or a high priority for law enforcement. And in the day and age with budget cuts looming for many law enforcement departments, do we really need our law enforcement officials out there looking for those using a cell phone while driving or might those resources be better used for investigating and/or preventing other crimes?
So, while the ban may sound really good and generate a few headlines today and in the days to come, in reality it's just another attempt by the nanny state to regulate our lives from womb to tomb.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 12/14/2011 07:02:00 AM