Tag: Road safety

More Of “The Man” Getting In Your Face

It’s a fine line, but why is it so hard for the government to even come close to finding it?, Yes, in a civilized society where humans must coexist together, rules are needed. Modes of behavior while interacting with each other must be codified, for the good of the community. And with these rules, civil servants are created to enforce these rules, otherwise, they would never be followed. And with these “compliance officers” goes a set of rules or regulations, written down in terms simple to understand that mandate this compliance and sets reasonable punishments and fines for those scofflaws that can’t follow the rules. No way around it, since the dawn of time, this has always been. Utopia does not exist (except for maybe in the bung holes of Obama worshipers) so we all must suffer through some exertion of authority over us.

The reasons why we have always needed this authoritarian Sword of Damocles over us is simple, people (and when I say “People”, I don’t mean ALL people, just enough to ruin it for everyone else so that they draw attention to themselves) can not be counted on to do the right thing. They can not be counted on to be rational, logical, considerate or well intentioned towards their fellow man, so we have rules and regulations to limit and direct their (our) behavior.

Although I have always put myself on the side of LESS rules over MORE, every year both the states and the feds travel farther and farther from that sentiment. What has drawn this tirade is the latest example in Chicago of those in power using emotion and sentiment to cloud their better judgment and rule on the side of exaggeration:

Fitch was chagrined Wednesday to learn that Oak Park, where he had stopped at a fast-food eatery for lunch, was considering a comprehensive crackdown on distracted drivers, banning everything from using a hand-held cellphone to grooming to eating while driving.
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Research suggests that distracted drivers are involved in 80 percent of collisions or near-crashes, and governments big and small increasingly are addressing the concern by restricting cellphone use and other negligent conduct behind the wheel.

Oak Park is the latest community to target the issue, joining a handful of other Chicago-area communities that have looked at prohibiting a variety of driving distractions — from tending to pets and eating to cellphone use.

Here we go, and the pattern is laughably obvious. Take an activity like driving, understanding said activity is dangerous enough that rules and regulations are needed (we want those operating motor vehicles to know how to drive, to know what they are doing) then take that responsibility, wrap it with the guise of “public safety” then regulate it beyond all rationality.

It is true that distracted drivers do account for the majority of traffic accidents, no getting around that, so they got a built in excuse for their actions, but where does it end? Listening to the radio is a distraction, fiddlng with the seat adjustment or air is distracting, that hot little number that just drove by in the convertible is distracting, and thinking about this morning’s presentation to corporate, that is distracting. Essentially, any wandering brain activity not devoted 100% to the task at hand is a distraction, no way of regulating that. Yes, anyone beyond numbskull status knows that you should not text and drive, so the idiots that do it ruin it for everyone, motivating legislatures everywhere, who validate their existence by the amount of new and useless laws to enact, to think up even more stupid rules for people to live by.

Ditto, with the food Nazi’s (Yes, Michelle, I’m looking at you) who want to limit and restrict my gastronomical pursuits. Sure, most of these buttinsky’s are motivated strictly monetarily, thinking up new and unusual ways to generate revenue all under the guise of “public safety”.

Although I hate the trend, it has been going on for decades, with no end in sight. And I really don’t have an answer in combating this pernicious trend, this is what legislators do. Sometimes I feel their hands around my neck squeezing tighter and tighter.