Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Calling on anyone who has a sense of logic...from the side of the road

I just discovered that it is now illegal in my home province of Alberta to drive while talking on a cell phone.  My question is this - why is it illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving, but legal to talk to someone in the car while driving with one hand?  In both situations, the driver is engaged in conversation with someone else with exactly one hand on the wheel, yet one of them is legal and one of them is not.  Can someone explain to me how this makes sense?

If I'm driving while on my cell phone, how is that any different than driving while I'm talking to someone in my car and drinking a bottle of water?  One hand holding something other than the steering wheel?  Check.  Talking to someone while driving?  Check.  Legal?  Depends if it meets the narrative that the media and government have built.

Why is it OK to use a hands-free cell phone?  Isn't that essentially telling us that it's not the actual communication that is dangerous, but the distraction of having something other than the steering wheel in my hands?  So why not pass a law that bans people from holding anything but the steering wheel in their hands?  Better yet, why not pass a law that bans people from driving one-handed?  Wouldn't that be a law that makes more sense if you're saying that the use of a cell phone is dangerous, and not the communication aspect?

I'm not against these "distracted driving" laws per se.  I just want some consistency.  If the government truly thinks that talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous, then shouldn't other activities that meet the exact same criteria also be banned?

1 comment:

  1. According to the link you posted, the Alberta law restricts people from doing a number of activities, other than using a cell phone, which may cause a driver to have only one hand on the wheel, including entering information on GPS units, using cameras, reading printed material, writing and personal grooming. I think the overarching issue here is whether you will be "distracted" while driving. For cell phones, it's not the talking that's distracting (which is why hands free units are allowed), it's trying to hold the phone, dialling or answering the phone while driving that causes the distraction.


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