The new, “No talky on celly when drivey” law has entered the cockpits of our Toyota Priuses effective January 1st, 2010. Since I’m a super liberal hippie that uses Tri-Met rather than drive anywhere, I thought this was a fantastic idea! When I think of a world where drivers are acting more responsibly and forced to become aware of their surroundings, I believed that Oregon roads would become more safe. Then it finally hit me. People are selfish. A man running late to reach his daughter’s recital, will still text his wife in the middle of traffic. The “Woo Girl” can’t help but text the guy that she met at Aura on Friday night who was super cute and his friends were nice too… while rollin on Cedar Hills Boulevard. What will the cell phone ban really accomplish?
We have all heard about the UK transportation study in 2008 that showed texting is worse than driving drunk. The ban was specifically directed towards restricting a driver’s ability to use his mobile device, so they can focus on the road. I believe, the law was created to protect victims of motor vehicle accidents caused by a driver using his mobile device. Now, how in the world are you going to figure that out? “Yes, officer. He was texting which caused him to run that stop sign and T-bone me.” Stupid.
The real world applications of 3G phones are to provide more flexibility when we are away from the computer. Google Maps, GPS, Twitter, Facebook, Pandora, 4Square, Scrabble, the list of apps could go on forever. Some of these apps provide us with valuable information which improve our ability to operate our hybrids. This mobile ban has crippled the effectiveness of the motor vehicle operator. What’s wrong with being stuck in traffic and using your iPhone to find an alternate route?
This new law is a joke and an insult to good drivers everywhere. Bad drivers are stupid people. Stupid people will text that they are late to the club while driving after drinking five beers. West Linn soccer mom is still going to check her Facebook status while waiting at a stop light. A mid-30’s Vice President cannot help but check Twitter updates driving down the I-5 corridor in their tinted window luxury car. The State of Oregon has passed yet another law affecting all of the normal folks because of the actions by a few idiots.