Monday, December 19, 2011

Sometimes Big Brother Needs To Be Watching

In August of 2010 a fatal accident occurred in Missouri killing two people and injuring dozens of others. A teenager was texting while driving and slammed into a semi- truck and two school buses then piled into this wreckage as well.

I was reading a recent news article where the kids of a school in Missouri now have vowed not to use cell phones when behind the wheel of a car since losing a classmate due to this accident. Chalk one up to common sense.

Then I started reading through some of the comments to this news article. Some of the most ignorant people on the planet decided to weigh in with their opinions on this article. There has been a lot of debate about banning the use of cell phones in cars. I'm not sure what there is to debate about though. Common sense should dictate that a driver should be driving, not texting. There are enough distractions to worry about while driving without having to worry about someone on a cell phone.

Driving is a privilege, not a right. Too many people don't see it that way though. Naturally cell phone usage isn't the only distraction that causes accidents. Drunk drivers, people putting on make-up, reading while driving, etc... all cause accidents. Too few people think about the actual responsibility and power they have when behind the wheel of a car. Their actions cannot only affect themselves but anyone else on the road around them, sometimes with fatal results. It's truly a lack of common sense and act of selfishness on their part.

Getting back to this news article and the comments. Most of the people responding feel texting is alright while driving and many of these people claim they have mastered this act well enough that they're not a danger when driving. They rail that "Big Brother" has enough laws in place and they don't see the necessity of more laws banning cell phone use in cars.

Personally I agree that it's a shame that "Big Brother" has to enact laws when common sense should dictate that it's just pure stupidity to text and drive. Since so many people possess little to no common sense "Big Brother" has to enact laws in an attempt to protect other drivers from the morons. This also protects the morons as well.

The trouble I have with the laws being proposed is that the punishment isn't harsh enough, nor is law enforcement enforcing current laws well enough as it is. (The same thing can be said about drunk driving laws as well.) Texting and drunk driving both impair your ability to drive, period. The fines and the "slap on the wrists" that are currently in place aren't enough of a deterrent. Loss of driving privileges for a significant time need to be the punishment, with the possibility of house arrest and electronic monitoring to ensure offenders won't/can't drive while being suspended. Honestly I see no other way to deter this because too many people are too damn stupid to obey the law without a harsh punishment.

With the current laws and enforcement of said laws we wait until someone dies before a harsh punishment is handed down, or considered for that matter. A lot of good that does the person who died though because of irresponsible behavior of people with no common sense.


Sparkling Red said...

I work in a health care facility where many of our chronic pain clients have been injured in motor vehicle accidents. Even a "little fender bender" can result in whiplash that creates chronic, lifelong headaches that seriously diminish a person's quality of life. I wish people took driving more seriously. It's a life and death situation.

darev2005 said...

There are enough distractions in a vehicle as it is. Music, GPS, the wife and kids, the dog, other drivers, billboards, etc. Ban the damn phones. I'm thinking of buying a cell phone jammer and just driving around with it watching other people freak out. Then I'm going to walk into WalMart with it on. Sweet chaos.

I almost ran over some stupid kid on a bicycle a while back. He was weaving all over the place not watching where he was going because he was texting! I yelled a bad word at him as I passed.

Dazee Dreamer said...

oh my. they said they've mastered it. wth. I'm speechless

Bouncin' Barb said...

Excellent Post! Just chatting with the passenger can distract you. So much can go wrong. But when we're on the road and come across a "close call" 99 out of 100 times the person is on the cell. It's scary.

Gaijin Wife said...

Cellphone use while driving is now illegal here in Japan. And they do follow through - I got fined 100 dollars for talking on my phone. Haven't done it since. There is 'drive mode' on phones that has a message saying the person is driving and can't answer their phone. Sometimes you get stupid people pulling over to answer their phone - in the dumbest most dangerous places though.

Mastering the art of texting and driving? Good one. Crash.

Warren said...

Our local paper lists the daily fatal accidents in the state. At least half say "crossed the center line" or "left the road and over corrected". While the articles don't specify texting as the cause, you can bet that it's part of it. Be careful out there.

The Blogger Formerly Known As said...

It’s been an offence over here (England) for some time now. Unfortunately idiocy does dictate that laws have to be made. But even now, so few are deterred. Everyone seems to think it doesn’t apply to them.