Monday, August 20, 2007

Cell Phone laws protect the stupid...and the innocent

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador calls on all provinces to follow its lead by banning use of hand-held cell phones while driving. I applaud this action- there are too many distracted drivers out there and those driving while babbling on the on the road are among the worst. I am not sure why there is any opposition to this legislation, it seems pretty common sense to me. And I have to say it warms my heart to see Newfoundland leading the charge.

I remember when cell phones first became really popular, I was younger and I thought it was cool. My parents, who tend to drive long distances for work on empty Newfoundland highways, really liked the security cellphones offered should they break down or need emergency assistance on the road. Let’s face it there are stretches of road home where you can drive for 2 hours and not see a gas station or another car. And yeah, it is nice when you were going to be late for dinner, to be able to call ahead and let people know. They were great for that sort of thing.

However, that is not what they have become. Like Lapdogs and Rottweilers, cell phones became status symbols for self important imbeciles everywhere. If you didn’t have one attached to your ear you were not worth talking to. Now every goon with a cell plane is talking long and loudly anywhere and everywhere all the time. I am not sure I would be so annoyed if they were saying something at least halfway interesting but most of it is so banal.

But you know, it isn’t just these permanently connected egomaniacs who are causing problems. Car accident statistics indicate 98 percent of reported accidents involve a single distracted driver. Rubbernecking was the highest percentage of single distractions, followed by driver fatigue, looking at scenery or landmarks, passenger or child distractions, adjusting the radio or other music form, and cell phone use. I have seen people put on make-up while driving, I have seen folks reading the paper, I saw one guy…well, he was making himself pretty happy lets just leave it there (Note to people who drive in cars: Folks who drive a van, truck or semi can see pretty much everything you do in a car).

Unfortunately we cannot legislate common sense, even though we try. Like the seatbelt law, this one is apt to get a number of people upset, but after a time, it becomes habit to comply. As much as I wouldn’t mind it if a few of the morons out there removed themselves from the gene pool before they bred, I know that nine times out of ten these morons who cause accidents are seldom the ones hurt. Some kid crossing the street, or another driver who is doing all the right things usually gets the worst of it. While the moron walks away without a scratch. Yes, sometimes we have to protect the idiots against their will in order to keep the rest of us safe.


WhitbyDude01 said...

I agree wholeheartedly.

Some would argue that a driver being spoken to by a passenger is no different than a driver being spoken to via a cellphone but I don't think it's the same. Fiddling around with a device in one hand while handling the steering wheel with another is too dangerous...hands free devices may be an exception. However it seems to me that people who talk on cellphones in particular have a tendency to babble on and on about nothing and just zone out everything else around then.

Ron said...

Almost every time I see someone do something stupid on the road now days, they end up having a phone to their ear when I can finally see them.

nadinebc said...

You and me both Ron. Sad eh?

Steve said...

A phone in their ear, or something else in their hand! ;-)

I think there are stupid, distracted drivers everywhere and for every reason. There is so much technology being added to cars and people these days, it's a wonder we ever have our hands on our steering wheels (or anything else for that matter). Why, there's cell phones, GPS, MP3 players, DVD players, personal information devices, email, talkmail, laptops, not to mention, thankfully, wireless everything, everywhere. Otherwise, how else could I send you this comment while stopped at a red light?

Shelby said...

Great ideas.. I agree too. Unfortunately, we do need to protect idiots from themselves and US.

have a great day today :)