A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Boston cell phone party - no danger at all!

In the "I can't be bothered" department of politics, I think Massachussetts Senate President Therese Murray takes the prize for this month's Clutz Award! She says of a bill to ban people from holding cell phones or sending text messages whilst driving (which may die in the state Senate this year), "I haven't given it any thought. No one has asked me for it, so it's not something that is at the top of my radar." Such a casual approach to potential death and injury on the roads. What does she care? Not a lot, because she hasn't given it any thought. Well, she has actually because she's talking about it, but this is arrogant politician speak for "I don't care!".

I know that using a mobile phone whilst driving is a potential hazard. When it was still lawful, or at least not illegal, in England to do so, I found it distracting to say the least. Now with the ban, now four years old, it is quite apparent that it causes accidents leading in some cases to death. In England in August 2006, a lorry driver who caused a woman's death because he was distracted by his mobile phone was jailed for four years. John Payne, 31, had been punching the keypad of his new phone and failed to spot a traffic queue ahead. His lorry crashed into a Peugeot 106 driven by Trinity Taylor, 23, rolling over the top of the car crushing it, and killing her. Outside Winchester crown court, after Payne was sentenced, Ms Taylor's family said motorists caught using mobiles should face as much stigma as drink-drivers.

I wonder what the politically astute Senate President thinks of drunk drivers? At one time they were socially accepted. And that is the trouble. Casual behaviour leading to a superior arrogance behind the wheel is still socially acceptable for mobile phone use. Rep. Joseph F. Wagner, D-Chicopee, a key architect of the House bill, said there's been a proliferation of drivers holding and talking on their cell phones whilst driving in Massachussetts (and presumably the whole country!). Wagner said it's a distraction for drivers to use cell phones, and he's backed up by statistics from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Wagner said the bill is needed to improve safety on the roads and save lives. All this is lost on the Senate President, as she hasn't "given it any thought".

I'm all for freedom and liberty, but there comes a time when freedom to be stupid, reckless, or just be downright anti-social is to deny others the right to a freedom to enjoy security and safety.

Therese Murray is simply a silly woman!


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