Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nannyism - piled higher and deeper

kw: regulations, observations

Do y'all remember the OSHA Cowboy? 'Taint nothin' compared to what we'll soon have to do to drive in these parts. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB, pronounced "knee jerks") has "recommended" that the Federal and/or State governments make laws banning all use of communications devices while driving. The aim is to reduce "distractions".

Y'know what distracts me when I'm driving? People who don't look before changing lanes or turning; people who cut me off in an effort to get to work three seconds earlier (like they want to work more today???); people who fly by me at 20-30 miles over the speed limit, when I'm going only 10 over; and especially people who are really distracted, visibly so, because they have a book or newspaper open on the steering wheel, or are combing hair or putting on makeup. I actually saw a laptop propped on a steering wheel.

I don't mind laws requiring hands-free communications, such as Bluetooth. I wonder if using your phone on speaker while it is in your shirt pocket counts… that is what I do. I also only make calls when at a stop light or stop sign (he intoned primly).

But if we're going to reduce distractions, we need to consider these also:
  • Radios - particularly tuning the radio while in motion.
  • CD Players - particularly reloading five CD's when the stack of five already in there runs out.
  • CB Radios - Actually, I find using a CB quite a bit more distracting than using a handheld phone: changing channels on an "Up 5" request, for instance.
  • Passengers - will we be safer of carpooling is banned?
Come up with your own list. I am sure there are a lot of things that force us to multitask, and some folks do it better than others. But, hey, good buddy, can't we all agree to let the Darwin Effect take care of the multitasking-challenged?

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