You're a Jackass! You Need to Be Punished
Andrew Ferguson has the story.
So what do we know about the safety of using cell phones in cars? Aside from the intuitive understanding that we all share—that anyone who can’t wait till he’s done driving to talk on his cell phone is a jackass—we don’t know a lot for certain. The number of fatal crashes “involving distraction” has increased in the last four years; but the overall number of such crashes has declined. Nationwide, car crashes have fallen dramatically while the use of cell phones has jumped dramatically (from 195 billion minutes in June 2000 to 1.1 trillion in June 2008). Last month the Highway Loss Data Institute issued a report comparing collision rates for states before and after they passed bans on drivers using handheld cell phones. The bans showed no effect on the number, frequency, or severity of collisions.And wouldn't you rather be a jackass, than a meddling, liberty-curtailing, sanctimonious scold? LaHood wouldn't. Neither would Karl (see below). But wouldn't you?