July 01, 2008

California's Super-Stupid Anti-Science Cell Phone Law Takes Effect

Greetings. Well, today's the day that political expediency and anti-science stupidity combine for the banning of handheld cell phones while driving in California.

I've discussed this topic here several times before, noting that virtually every study shows no reduction in accident rates when talking on a hands-free cell phone vs. handheld units. In fact, there are concerns that people fumbling around to dial and answer hands-free units may actually make matters worse.

Even the Luddite who spent years pushing through this legislation admits that the science and studies are against him, but he's convinced that having both hands on the wheel is safer. Of course, the law doesn't require two hands on the wheel -- which would be fairly difficult for stick drivers like me in any case, eh?

When I was out driving earlier today, I saw one women swerving while putting on make-up, and a guy weaving all over while apparently wolfing down a burger. Another car almost didn't make a stop while the woman inside appeared to be screaming at her kids in the back seat -- all classic distractions unaffected by the new law. However, I saw several people now driving illegally but safely with handheld cell phones.

There are already laws against distracted driving. The new cell phone law (as applied to adult drivers) is both unnecessary and counterproductive -- the latter by making people erroneously believe that they're safer with hands-free phones while driving.

This sort of "feel good" law that flies in the face of science, studies, and logic, is an example of our political system operating as a pandering pomposity of the most inane kind.


Posted by Lauren at July 1, 2008 01:14 PM | Permalink
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