Why not ban bad drivers instead?
The National Safety Council (one of those private but sounds-like-it’s-the government “interest groups”) wants to see cell-phone use in cars banned.
I hate sail fawns, too — they’re overused by self-important busybodies who seem to believe their constant in-public yawping makes them look like Important People On the Way Up. But banning their use in vehicles is the automotive equivalent of gun control: It blames a tool, an inanimate device, for the idiocy of those (always a minority) who cannot handle that tool responsibly.
The real problem isn’t cell phones. It’s the degraded quality of the American driver; the might-as-well-be-nonexistent training — and testing — that we require before we let people get behind the wheel.
The Safety Council says that flapping your gums on a cell while driving is akin to drunk driving; specifically, that it works out to a degree of impairment comparable to having a BAC level of .04 to .06 — which is close to the legal minimum necessary in most states to be convicted of DUI.
But here’s the thing: The DUI/DWI standard has been dumbed-down, too. It used to be (about 20 years ago) .10 or .12 BAC — a standard that was arrived at not by pulling a number out of a hat but by examining accident stats. It was determined that actual accidents — real ones, not theoretical “might have happeneds” — correlated with BAC levels of .10 or higher.
So — reasonably — the law reflected this.
Then came Mothers Against Drunk Driving. (You know that anything with “Mothers” in its title is not going to be reasonable — right?)
No surprise, a campaign of emotive browbeating and termagant pressure tactics caused state DUI/DWI standards to be revised downward to the point where “background” BAC levels of .08 or less that used to be legal — because there was no evidence of a real-world correlation with actual accidents — became evidence of “drunk driving.”
The ironic fact that most of the drivers so ensnared had given no evidence of “drunk” driving — other than blowing into a Breathalzyer — never bothered MADD. These drivers just got caught up in sobriety checkpoint dragnets; otherwise they would have gone unnoticed — and made it home without incident. The actual facts about BAC levels and accidents (again, real ones) supports this irrefutably.
But the organization fixated on theoretical risk — ever diminishing, of course, and always based on the least common denominator. The least able, the most marginally skilled driver.
And so it is today with sail fawns.
Take one borderline inadequate driver. Add a cell — or a frozen margarita over dinner — and, hey! presto! You have an accident waiting to happen. But take away the cell (and the margarita) and you still have a marginal driver. Who is still an accident waiting to happen.
Just slightly less so.
Conversely, take a high-skilled driver. Add one margarita over dinner — or cell phone chat — and you’ve still got a driver with a higher skill level than the didn’t-have-a-drink, not gabbling on his sail fawn marginally skilled driver n the example above.
Which of the two is the more likely to run a light and t-bone your car?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online