Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cell Phone Madness

This %$###@%^ nanny state bullshit just keeps flowing. Last statistic I could find was 2008. Per the Department of Transportation, there are over 196,165,666 licensed driver in the USA. Some will always be knuckleheads. Defensive driving, people. So here is the latest self important airhead wanting to further restrict our freedoms:

"According to NHTSA, more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents", said Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving."

"No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life."

Can we find people in government service who at least pass reality once or twice a day in the hall?

The fundamental problem is government people—pointy-headed bureaucrats—telling people what to do. There is an environment in this city of people unwilling to admit their mistakes and move ahead. The attitude toward rule-making has been so curtailed that common sense recommendations now take years and years.

— James Hall, NTSB, 1996

I am for hands free cell phone usage and no texting; even a scofflaw like me can change. Given the need, I will even learn to use the Bluetooth ear piece I bought four years ago.

Want to knock the economy down? Make people less productive and business less efficient. That time I’m in a vehicle, during business hours, is lost time. Any portion used productively is a boon. How well I remember the four D Cell pagers pulling down my pants, the frustration in finding a working pay phone, and the dangerous places I found a pay phone. Cell phones forever!

The illustration that accompanied the article with Ms. Hersman”s remarks? A black revolver on the left, a red blood splatter on the right with a black cell phone super imposed on the splatter.

Too bad this statistic wasn’t included:

The accidental gun death rate has been falling since 1930 and US accidental gun deaths per year were down to 613 by 2007, out of the 301,579,895 people in the USA, according to the CDC. For comparison, there were 29,846 accidental deaths by poisoning in 2007, again according to the CDC.

These are accidental deaths. Murder and suicide are not accidents. From Wikipedia:

The real percentage of suicides among car accidents is not reliably known; studies by suicide researchers tell that "vehicular fatalities that are suicides vary from 1.6% to 5%".[32] Some suicides are misclassified as accidents, because suicide must be proven; "It is noteworthy that even when suicide is strongly suspected but a suicide note is not found, the case will be classified an 'accident.'"[33]
Some researchers believe that suicides disguised as traffic accidents are far more prevalent than previously thought. One large-scale community survey (in Australia) among suicidal persons provided the following numbers: "Of those who reported planning a suicide, 14.8% (19.1% of male planners and 11.8% of female planners) had conceived to have a motor vehicle “accident”... Of all attempters, 8.3% (13.3% of male attempters) had previously attempted via motor vehicle collision."[34]

Might I suggest Ms. Twit and her staff focus on this? Oh, sorry; hard work involved.


Scotty said...

It brings to mind something else that happened quite a few years back.

Having been involved in the trucking industry for the better part of 30 years, in one form or another, I remember a campaign to put special bumpers on the back of trucks. It was suggested it would limit the amount of fatalities that stemmed from stupid drivers rear ending trucks and tractor trailers.

One of the points they made was that it would only cost 300 dollars per vehicle. Of course, they never figured in what the cost would be total, given the amount of trucks and trailers that are on the road.

Just like the fact that they haven't figured in the cost of lost revenue from people like you that do so much business on the road.

As a HAM radio guy, next they'll be going after my radio gear I have in my vehicles.

I have a better suggestion, let the Darwin Theory take care of those too stupid to operate a cell while driving. Unfortunately some innocent folks might be hurt. But certain freedoms come at a cost.

Well Seasoned Fool said...


Site meter says this post had more hits than usual. Yours is the only comment; thank you.

You are correct about the regulators not understanding the impact of the costs they generate. Maybe they think there is a money fairy to wave a magic wand.

Old NFO said...

Excellent post, and yeah, a passing familiarity with facts would be nice...

Well Seasoned Fool said...


Agree. Also a passing familiarity with the Bill or Rights!