LaHood looking for ways to disable cell phones in cars « Hot Air

Remember, in Hopenchange, everything not expressly permitted will be outlawed.  In an attempt to deal with the supposed epidemic of distracted drivers, especially younger drivers, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the Obama administration will review its options in blocking cell phone use in cars:

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.

“There’s a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones and we’re looking at that,” said LaHood on MSNBC. LaHood said the cellphone scramblers were one way, and also stressed the importance of “personal responsibility.”

The statement came during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, when Joe Scarborough argued that the government should mandate the installation of scrambler transmitters in new automobiles.  LaHood liked the idea:

“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.”

This is frightfully dense in a number of different ways.  Let’s count them up, shall we?

  • The scrambler would also affect the passengers in a car that want to use their cell phones, which doesn’t do anything to improve public safety.
  • The presence of multitudinous scramblers in autos driving in a city will likely render cell phones used by pedestrians useless as well, or at least unreliable.
  • Adding more required equipment to cars will make them more expensive, and increase the value of used cars without the scramblers.
  • People who want to make calls from their cars or allow their passengers to do so will likely hold onto current vehicles longer.
  • Anything installed in a car can be disabled by the owner, especially electronics.  Will car owners have to submit to random searches, or annual verification of scrambler functionality?  Will the federal government make that yet another unfunded mandate on the states?
  • People also get distracted by eating, reading printed material, and applying make-up.  Shall we ban drive-through restaurants, newspapers, and cosmetics, too?

And those are just the practical considerations.  There are other problems with this as well, chief among them that it appears to be a solution in search of a problem.  A study released today by the CDC shows that auto-related deaths of younger drivers have dropped 36% annually over a five-year period despite increased use of cell phones:

just can’t get enough of the nanny state under these boobs…

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