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November 17, 2010

Transportation Secretary LaHood: We May Disable Cell Phones In Cars

It can be a fine line between nanny statism and fascism. Obama's Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood seems to have successfully planted a foot on both sides.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said using a cell phone while driving is so dangerous that devices may soon be installed in cars to forcibly stop drivers — and potentially anyone else in the vehicle — from using them.

...

“I think it will be done,” said LaHood. “I think the technology is there and I think you’re going to see the technology become adaptable in automobiles to disable these cell phones. We need to do a lot more if were going to save lives.”

...

LaHood has called distracted driving an “epidemic” and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says about 5,000 people a year, or about .001 percent of the U.S. population, die as a result of it. In 2009, however, the NHTSA found that highway fatalities were at the lowest levels since the 1950s. At the time, Lahood applauded the announcement but vowed he “would not rest” until the roads were even safer.

If you're ever in trouble and stuck in your car, don't worry, as Ben Domenech quips, LaHood undoubtedly has that covered.

In the future, if you have car trouble, Ray LaHood will sense it psychically and fly to your aid.

Clearly though if the government is going to take this radical step, there's overwhelming evidence that cell phones are the number 1 4 leading cause of distraction for drivers.

In a study compiled by the United States Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration [OSHA], 57 percent of Americans admit to partaking in distractions for personal purposes while 25 percent of Americans admit to participating in distracting activities while driving for work.

Ever wonder which distractions Americans engage in most? Here are the percentages broken down from the OSHA study:

96% – Talking to passengers
89% - Adjusting vehicle climate/radio controls
74% - Eating a meal/snack
51% - Using a cell phone
41% - Tending to children
34% - Reading a map/publication
19% - Grooming
11% - Preparing for work

Obviously the only soludtion is to create cars so small only one person can fit in them and they don't have a radio in them. Actually, that kind of sounds exactly like the kind of car the Obama administration would love to force people to drive. Well, other people. They and their friends would no doubt get waivers.

Not sure how they will stop people from eating in the car (ban drive-thru windows?) but I guess once they outlaw all the foods people actually want to eat, no one will want to eat carrots and other Michelle Obama approved foods much anyway.


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posted by DrewM. at 11:25 AM

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