Cell phone driving bans

The NTSB has recommended a ban on all things to do with cell phone use, including hands-free devices, except in emergency situations:

The recommendation suggests going far beyond the current restrictions on texting and talking on the phone while driving to include outlawing the use of hands-free devices.

The five-member board of the NTSB made their decision after a 19-year-old driving his pickup truck near Gray Summit, MO, crashed into a school bus, which in turn ran over a smaller vehicle and crashed into another bus. The pickup driver and a 15-year-old aboard one of the buses were killed in the accident. Records show that the pickup driver had sent or received 11 text messages in the 11 minutes preceding the crash.

“Driving was not his only priority,” said NTSB chairman Deborah Hershman. “No call, no text, no update is worth a human life.”

This is a stupid basis for a recommendation. It’s an anecdote that can be equally countered with any other anecdote: I used to text and drive when I had a phone more convivial to single-hand use. I never once had an accident, nor did I ever come close to hitting anyone or anything. Bam, texting for all! Or not.

Moreover, this shitty anecdote only addresses texting. That involves looking away from the road frequently and/or for relatively extended periods of time. That is not what happened during a phone call.

I think if the interest here is safety, it can be generally achieved without inconveniencing too many people. Let’s outlaw the people who have the hardest time dealing with technology and driving. First, that means young people. While I know a lot of people will get behind this because they’re simply jealous of youth, the actual rational basis is that young people have limited driving experience. Ban those under 20. Second, anyone over 65 needs to have the phone taken out of their hands. Of course, not a lot of old people text, especially while driving, but plenty of them talk on the phone. Ever seen an old person try to deal with technology? It isn’t pretty. They have to focus more than people who have grown up in this modern age. They aren’t functioning at a fast pace. They can’t handle it. Factor in driving and it gets uglier. Ban ’em, I say.

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Thought of the day

There’s practically nothing more supercilious and obnoxiously sanctimonious than a Christian deciding to lecture an unbeliever on love…because these prissy assholes all believe they have a monopoly on the One True Love™, which is servile obedience to a domineering tyrant.

~PZ

I must say, this is spot on. I’ve grown quite sick and tired of this fucking strawmen Christians keep throwing out there about love. No, assholes, you don’t have a monopoly on love, and no, I’m not somehow devoid of it because I’m not willing to think with my ‘heart’* instead of my brain.

*You know, “your heart”, that phrase virtually every single one of you likes to use in place of words that actually mean something.