The National Safety Council is pushing for a nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving. The council is campaigning in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for a ban. The NSC is also contacting businesses that have employees on the road and urging them to ban phone calls on the road. Thanks, but I already have a mom.
The NSC has found that cell phone use quadruples a driver’s risk of being in an accident. The council also acknowledges that there are much more dangerous activities that drivers routinely engage in while driving, but says that because cell phone use is a much more common than any other potential distraction, it is worth banning. You can still drink a coffee, do your makeup, shave and make a burrito, all at the same time while driving. But if the NCS has its way, you won’t be able to tell anyone about it.
The NSC never acknowledges the fact that drivers are adults who can make their own decisions. Yes, these decisions could negatively affect others, but it is every adult’s responsibility to ensure that his or her actions don’t negatively impact others. If we start banning everything that could possibly harm a person, pretty sure we’ll all be walking aroound in protective bubbles, if we leave the house at all.
The NSC’s utopia.
The NSC draws parallels between cell phone use and drunk driving. This is pathetic and manipulative. Drunk driving is dangerous because drunken people don’t realize they are impaired and don’t adjust their driving accordingly. Sober adults on their cell phones know that they aren’t focused on driving and adjust their driving accordingly. Yes, the people driving 15 mph under the speed limit are a pain and an obstruction to traffic, but being a pain is hardly dangerous and well within their rights.
Use of a hands-free cell phone device does not mitigate the risks in any way, according to a study by the University of Utah. Apparently it is the distraction of a cell phone call that causes problems, not having one hand off the wheel. Even though they’ve acknowledged the impotency and irrationality of the hands-free laws in New York and other places, the NSC isn’t advocating the repeal of those laws.
The National Safety Council is responsible for the proliferation of laws that require the use of seatbelts. The council is aware of the problems that arise when trying to enforce laws dictating what drivers are and are not allowed to do while inside their cars, but that’s OK because it’s not their responsibility.
"It may be hard for some people to imagine how certain laws, such as those concerning drunk driving, teen driving, seatbelt use and booster seats, can be enforced by observation alone," Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the NSC said. "Smart people in law enforcement get together to address such issues. They develop creative and successful measures to identify violators, such as high-visibility enforcement strategies."
That’s right, the NSC’s job is just to add extra frivilous work for police to do. Let the "smart people" deal with how to enforce their silly new rules.