Once again, laws against distracted driving don’t do a damn thing.

Almost as routine as the argument against so-called piracy are the arguments against so-called distracted driving. Calling your boss to let him know you’re stuck in trafick and some moron behind you hits you? Well, you shouldn’t have been calling your boss. Letting your girlfriend know you’re 3 blocks away and to please for the love of cheese be outside and some fool runs a red light? You shouldn’t have been on your phone. So the law says, anyway. How about instead, we take some friendly advice from the Ottawa Sun’s Brigitte Pellerin and shove the blame for it right in the face of the ones actually responsible–the idiot drivers.

Some people out there (though not, obviously, you personally – my readers are way smarter, taller, and better looking than average) are such bad drivers
that they don’t need distractions to be a menace to others. They just need to be placed behind the wheel.

Some other people, by contrast, have no problem driving properly while making a quick call to their husband so he knows what time I’m coming by to pick
him up from work.

Which is escentially the meet of the issue right there. You’re going to have awesome drivers, and you’re going to have morons. Put a cell phone in an awesome driver’s hand, or have the radio on in the background, they’re still going to be an awesome driver. Take the phone out of the moron’s hand, or mandate he turn off the radio, he’s still going to be a moron. And then we’ll end up with laws against talking to passengers while driving. And they’ll still be slapping the wrong people on the wrist for the wrong reasons. And getting escentially the same result. Yeah, texting and driving, or talking on the phone and driving, whatever it may end up being, probably isn’t the safest thing you could be doing. But rather than finding and ticketting everyone and their mother for a quick “I’ll be there in 5 minutes” phone call, Pellerin has another suggestion for local officials.

Instead of making sure I’m not reapplying Burt’s Bees or arguing with Lowell, what the nice officer should do is check that I’ve had enough sleep or that
I’m not on some mood-altering drug that might affect my concentration. I’m not talking about booze or pot or crack here. I’m talking about the legal medicines
Canadians gobble in astounding quantities.

And, just to illustrate her point, she asks some pretty interesting–and I’m assuming rhetorical–questions.

Nobody’s at their best when tired. But some people are so sleep-deprived they are in the same situation as a driver who’s drunk. Shouldn’t there be some
law against driving while sleepy? How about driving while on Prozac?

And does everyone who takes allergy medication follow the advice on the box that says it’s better to avoid driving?

Tongue in cheak, perhaps. But she makes some very interesting points–particularly in terms of just how dangerous dashing off a quick text while behind the wheel is in comparison to driving while tired. And yet, as she points out, the police don’t check for that–they’re more concerned with whether or not you’ve been using that phone sitting on the console beside you. Now, maybe I’m a little backwards here–that’s entirely possible, but you’d think these other folks would be more of a concern to local governments. I suppose, if only it wasn’t all about a quick cash grab.

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