OK, first off I am going to give a hardy compliment to the local news media here in Albany. This blog centers around an event that happened probably around 7pm last night – barely 11 hours ago- that I read about in an article on the local paper’s website that was on said website at some point before 4:30am, when I first looked at the site this morning. That is very impressive to me, and they are doing a great job insofar as getting the news out fast.
Here is the article in question. In it, it notes that last night at its work session, local resident David Hewett asked the Albany City Commission to ban all cell phone usage while driving.
Evidently, about a month ago Mr. Hewett’s wife was struck by a car. When the driver got out of her vehicle after the collision, she was on her cell phone. There is no mention of whether or not she was actually using her cell at the time of impact, or if she had made the call as she was getting out of the car. Clearly, this distinction is lost on Mr. Hewett.
Mr. Hewett is demanding immediate action on this, and I agree.
The Commission should have laughed Mr. Hewett right out of their meeting.
There are already laws on the books regarding distractions while driving. We do not need more laws regarding particular types of distractions while driving.
I point to myself in this regard: I have been in 2 collisions for which I was at fault. In both cases, I was distracted. In neither was the distraction my phone. In one, the distraction was anger for having to go run an errand. In the other, the distraction was a very long and tedious drive, and I had simply zoned out.
Should we now ban running errands and long, tedious drives?
Further disturbing is Mr. Hewett’s statement to the Commission that it has the “responsibility to ‘assure the safety’ of its citizens”.
You see, I don’t remember the Founding Fathers saying anything about the government having the responsibility of assuring the safety of its citizens from anything other than foreign attack and government intrusion into their lives.
Instead, they put that pesky little thing called the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, giving the citizenry the right to keep and bear arms. To me, that seems to indicate that they viewed the safety of a man, his family, and his property as the sole responsibility of that man.
I do have a bit of praise for Mr. Hewett, in that light. At least he is doing something that he clearly feels will protect his family. The problem is that he is doing the wrong something, and in the process he is endangering the rest of us and our families.
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