Pulling over to place a call

Well... we have the latest Nanny-State law in place and I'll obey it. No more cellphone talking while driving. What a stupidly intrusive law.

I know. I know. I'm flying in the face of "best informed opinion". I agree with parts of BC's law, anyways: texting (even reading texts!) while driving actually is mad. And I'll agree that there are drivers who shouldn't drive while talking. Most of them shouldn't drive while breathing either, not to mention that I've seen them drive while applying makeup, while reading the newspaper, while drinking coffee and eating a hamburger -- and sometimes all at once, too! Apparently other things have been seen in the driver's seat, still more absorbing than that.

If you think I'm being a pig-headed fool, let me show you where the oinker-faces really are: when I'm stuck in a rush hour lineup, to tell me that I shouldn't talk on my cellphone even then, that's pig-headed. That's tyrannical. This law shouldn't even have been considered before the invention of Star Trek transporter technology or at least before the absolute banishment of rush hour lineups -- or at the very least, there should be a rider added that says if you're in a stop-and-go traffic area that doesn't exceed 40km/h or whatever... get my drift? I know I haven't a hope in asking for the outright repeal of this invasion of my freedoms, I'm only asking to be trusted to act responsibly in managing my otherwise less than manageable schedule in the use of a cellphone during unavoidable delays.

But today I feel a bit like I'm going to get a bit of my own back. I've hit on a small piece of civil disobedience to go along with my unwilling compliance to this restriction on my freedoms. If I need to stop to use my phone and there's a fire hydrant by the road, that's where I'll do it. I won't park in front of a fire hydrant -- no, that would represent a safety risk in case of a fire in the area, not to mention that it'll draw a ticket -- and my suggesting that you should do any such thing would be counseling to commit offenses, also something I don't want to do. I'll only stop there. If I'm not parking, only stopping for a brief chat on the phone, I don't see how that should be citable. Still, I'll keep my ear open for approaching fire trucks (and ticket writers) while I'm doing it.

So, if you have a stupid law like this in your jurisdiction, why not consider doing the same thing.


Levi Breederland said...

If Blogger was anything like Facebook, Tumblr, Friendfeed, or Twitter, I would be able to "like" your post.

Arthur said...

Hi, Levi...

Yeah, I guess I like feedback to be more articulate than "like". (Circular reference intentional)

There wouldn't be room for it in Twitter and I'm not yet on tumblr or friendfeed (just how many of these things are there going to be before the mountain collapses on itself?). And I'm still kinda conflicted about the false feeling of coziness facebook tries to foster.

I'm putting some ideas out there, some of them may look subversive to some people. Let's just be honest not pretend that only my friends are seeing it.

thanks for reading...ank

David Grant said...

As much as I hate this new law, it has forced me to go out and buy a nice Bluetooth speakerphone system. It's so nice to drive with both hands on the wheel and chat away to someone else as if they were in the car with me.

My bit of civil disobedience? Eating a burger and fries while driving manual transmission. I'll probably keep doing that once in a while.

One of the most dangerous things you can do while driving is to not look where you are going. I've been in one accident in 14 years. I was driving over a bridge and noticed something interesting in the water down below. Looked a bit too long and hit the car in front of me as traffic had come to a standstill. My wife was also in an accident many years ago where the driver was looking at some photographs that the person in the backseat was showing him. They hit highway traffic in front of them that had come to a standstill.

What we need is some technology that detects when your foot it on the gas (and not covering the brake) and it shouldn't be because you are moving and the cars in front of you have stopped!

Arthur said...

Good for you! You already have a bluetooth-ready phone. For me this represents a two-part upgrade, effectively a tax on my phone (probably leading to yet another new contract) enforced by the government and collected by the cellphone companies.

I agree about "not looking in front" as being the problem. Hence, my support for the texting ban.

But if I can pull my phone out and dial the number I want by the feel without glancing down at the phone, that's not a problem.

The other side of it, namely the equivalent impairement to that of 0.08% intoxication alleged by some police-funded studies, apparently, I can't answer to. I'd like to take those tests myself just for my own information: perhaps I need a bit more humility about this point?

What will the law say about augmented-reality contact lenses when they come out and wearing them while driving? I think I know what they'll do, and my adult grandchildren won't like it one bit.

thanks for the comment...ank

Levi Breederland said...

I just want the mental computer with retinal projection and memory backup like in Doctorow's book, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.