Cell Phones

12 Feb

I do not own a cell phone. I do have an iPad, which does for me everything a cell phone could do other than put me at the beck and call of every other idiot on earth with a cell phone. I am, generally, in favor of technology. Particularly because the technological changes I have seen in my lifetime have done much to take “The Arts” out of the hands of the irritating, and largely talent-proof, poseurs who infest The Art World and put them back in the hands of people with genuine creative impulses.

Nevertheless, I am increasingly of the opinion that the laws that have been passed against using a cell phone or similar device while driving do not go nearly far enough. They should provide for the application of bastinado on scofflaws who turn traffic into abstract sculpture.
Look, I don’t care how good a driver you are, you are less good while exercising your ratchet-jaw. And don’t even get me started on ‘texting’. I do it too. I’m guilty. But I mostly am trying to use the ‘map’ function of the iPad, and I have scared myself badly enough at that to be VERY cautious.
Most people who are communicating on the pox-ridden things, AREN’T being careful. They may have started out that way, but they get caught up in the conversation and the next thing you know they are occupying part of the oncoming lane.  And if you are driving in that lane, well, it’s a sinus-clearing experience, let me tell you.
I’m against laws that anticipate harm, rather than punishing it. Drunk driving laws inconvenience thousands while ignoring that the vast majority of those whose intoxicated driving kills somebody have already been in an accident with property damage. If the laws kept such people off the streets, the rest of us could be left in peace.
Similarly, I’m not in favor of a law making it a crime to fiddle with a smart phone while driving. I would, however, like to see people who have or cause accidents while yapping away punished harshly enough that they wouldn’t do it again.
And then we could address the people who apparently can’t talk and walk on a crowded sidewalk at the same time.
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