I can drive and talk on my cell without crashing

160_cellphone_driving_021017.jpgRemember in grade school when the teacher had to teach the class at the pace of the dumbest student? It slowed down the rest of your class and impaired those who were fast learners and could easily handle the challenges of the day.

First, we allow the government to dictate when and where smoking is allowed in private businesses. Then we nearly allow the government to dictate which street we can walk down. Now they government wants to come into your private vehicle and dictate what you can do while driving. Anyone smell a slippery slope?

From the Star Tribune:

Minnesota House and Senate legislators have proposed a bill that would double the fines of any moving violation if the driver was on a cell phone at the time.

Users of hand-held and hands-free devices would be subject to the increased penalties, said Senate sponsor Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, because both result in distracted drivers.

I know many of my liberal friends don’t see the issue with this. They believe it’s the government’s responsibility to keep us safe from ourselves. But I wish to stress the importance and inevitability of the slippery slope of government mandates on our private lives.

Unfortunately, in the post-9/11 era, our society is relying more and more on the big brother government to “keep us safe.” California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia each have enacted a jurisdiction-wide ban on driving while talking on cell phones. Six states (Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) allow localities to ban cell phone use. Only eight smarter states than Minnesota (Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah) prohibit localities from banning cell phone use. Here’s a breakdown of state laws and legistlation for you.

At what point are we legislating to the lowest IQ of our population? At what point does society either evolve or operate outside the boundaries of the idiots in our society?

Sure, I’ve seen people drive stupidly while driving and chatting on a cell phone. I’ve seen people typing on a Blackberry, too. In fact, I’ve done both and never crashed my car once. Mostly, I try to keep to my hands-free headset when chatting and keep my Blackberry knee-driving to the non-peak 494 hours.

My biggest point is that sure, use of cell phones are distracting. But look at Vermont, which is considering a measure to ban eating, drinking, smoking, reading, writing, personal grooming, playing an instrument, interacting with pets or cargo and possibly even scratching an itch while driving.

Sometimes the freedom to be an idiot is preferred to the handcuffs of what our government thinks we handle.

14 Comments so far

  1. Nathan Stohlmann (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 3:58 pm

    While I’m not entirely sure that I agree with the bill for various reasons, it should be pointed out that this would only criminalize people who were were in accidents while using their cell phone. There is no provision that says you can’t do it, it just says that you’d better not f*** up while doing so.

  2. Greg (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 4:42 pm

    True, but how long until we take the next step and ban them all together? That’s my point.

  3. Dave Dash (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 5:04 pm

    Greg, I feel your concern too. I’ve… felt a lot less safer and comfortable after 9/11. I’ve done a bit of travelling in the last few months and airports have completely gone kooky. How bizarre is that, that for some reason a terrorist can put together a bomb using liquids, but can’t do much with a a quart sized bag of 3oz containers… what? not even a mini-bomb?

    I’ve heard more about planes being grounded due to irate passengers versus actual security threats. What is it that we’re doing that’s irritating our populace? Why are laws still being delivered to us from upon high at some office in the sky? Why can’t we decide what is and isn’t safe, and is and isn’t acceptable? When is democracy coming to the US?

  4. Erica (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 9:34 pm

    I think this is asinine. It’s not going to prevent anyone from using their cell phone. Hell, it might make it worse as people try to get away with it without getting caught. Plus you can’t reliably prove that someone was on the phone when an accident happens.

  5. eric (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 9:36 pm

    “In fact, I’ve done both and never crashed my car once.”

    Wow, great argument. You might as well add that you’ve done both and never killed someone with your car either. Awesome! We should REQUIRE talking on cellphones and using a Blackberry while driving, since it seems to enhance your ability to not cause an accident.

    Thanks for your insights into the “slippery slope.” What exactly do slippery slopes smell like?

  6. Minnesota Democrats Exposed (unregistered) on February 15th, 2007 @ 7:19 am

    Is this another parody of MDE??

  7. Greg (unregistered) on February 15th, 2007 @ 8:58 am

    True, I also have not killed anyone. Thanks for pointing that out, Eric. I can handle multitasking while driving and don’t feel we need legislation to take away freedoms as simple as talking on the phone. Slippery Slope: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope

  8. Heather K (unregistered) on February 15th, 2007 @ 9:24 am

    What’s the difference between hands-free cell phone conversations and those that take place with a fellow passenger in your car? I mean, maybe they should ban conversation in the car, since it’s a distraction. Or to the point of this bill, I guess your fine should double if you were talking to your passenger(s) during an accident, right?

    That’s what this slippery slope “smells” like to me.

  9. Yoder (unregistered) on February 15th, 2007 @ 6:14 pm

    I can say that I’m for requiring hands free cell phones, but more than that I think driving should be treated as less a right and more of a responsibility. That simply is not the case right now.

    For the most part, people are responsible drivers who do not put others in danger with their recklessness. And if we could find a way to ensure that the stupid and dangerous ones only killed themselves in these accidents, then I would happily put as many of them as possible behind the wheel (Darwin and all that). But that is not the case and stupid people are killing innocents because they believe that driving is a God given right that carries with it no responsibility.

    If we had an acceptable and efficient way of keeping the genetic sludge off the roads, then we would not need these draconian laws that limit our freedoms. These laws are not directed at the good and responsible drivers, but at the irresponsible ones. The good drivers just happen to outnumber the bad and so these rules seem unfair.

  10. Roger (unregistered) on February 17th, 2007 @ 12:00 am

    The problem is that stupid people don’t know that they are stupid and therefore refrain from activities that they are incompetent at doing – such as similtaneously driving and talking on a cell phone. So I say we pass a single law against stupidity and be done with it. Perhaps we could then ship stupid people to another State, perhaps Mississippi. Only “responsibly”-certified people would be left and there would never be any more stupid people problems.

  11. Yoder (unregistered) on February 17th, 2007 @ 5:37 am

    I second that.

  12. Erica (unregistered) on February 17th, 2007 @ 11:36 am

    I say send ’em all to North Dakota.

  13. Lisa Hunter (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 12:06 pm

    This is not government protecting you from yourself. It’s government protecting me from you, as you multitask while driving.

    The laws about not smoking in an office aren’t to protect the smoker from himself, it’s to protect his co-workers from second-hand smoke illnesses.

    It’s not all about you.

  14. LEW (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2007 @ 1:03 am

    We need automated cars. Computers could drive better than people, and it would free us to do more important things. Like scratch our noses.

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