I like FlashReport.org, the news and commentary roundup maintained by Jon Fleischman, a vice chairman of the California Republican Party; I don’t always agree, but it’s a well-organized roundup of news and opinion, and I check it most days.
Yet I think he went off the rails today in his diatribe against the law that took effect today requiring drivers to use hands-free devices for their cell phones.
It is particularly disturbing that on the very week of America’s birthday, here in California the liberty of our drivers has now been eroded with the latest edict from our ever-growing Nanny State. Yes, politicians in Sacramento, intent to legislate on every aspect of the lives of their constituents have now banned the use of cell-phones by drivers of automobiles (unless we use the hands-free gizmo we always forget to have with us).
Individual drivers should be deciding whether it is safe to use a phone while driving. This decision should not be made for them by Big Brother.
Um, sorry, no. A nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California report issued in May estimated 300 fewer people will die each year in California traffic accidents as a result of the new law. Other drivers’ “rights” to engage in hazardous activity should end where they threaten the lives of me, my loved ones and everyone else on the road. Balancing individual rights with the common good is what good government and good legislation should be all about.
It’s not just the basis of Fleischman’s argument that bugged me — it’s the petulance.
Anyways, to commemorate the last day before the implementation of Simitian’s bill, I took the photo you see in this post. As you can see from the speedometer, I’m driving on the freeway as I use on hand to operate the camera in my cell phone, taking a photo of my other hand which is both navigating the car, and holding my container of ice cream. Guess what? If I took that photo today, I would be breaking the law. Then again, I am sure that some enterprising “nanny stater” will see this photo and author a bill to ban eating ice cream while driving.
So an elected GOP officer does something he knows to be unsafe, just so he can take a mocking photo and prove a weak point? I’m underwhelmed by the maturity level here.