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Commentary: Some folks just can’t perceive the obvious

I read a riotously funny article the other day, about how state laws banning texting or talking on cell phones while driving have no effect whatsoever on the number of crashes.

What’s so funny about that?

What’s so funny is the inability of the “experts” to come up with an explanation for the data.

One said that the data doesn’t match what is known about the dangers of phoning and texting while driving, and they are gathering more data to “figure out this mismatch.”

Another proposed explanation is that drivers have switched to safer hands-free devices.

Then there’s the response of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, who wants to suppress the study as “irresponsible” because it might lead people "to wrongly conclude that talking on cell phones while driving is not dangerous."

LaHood even calls the practice an “epidemic.” Apparently, being clueless is now a credential for a cabinet post.

Now Wisconsin is set to jump on the bandwagon and ban talking on cell phones while driving, despite the new study.

But since none of these folks quoted in the article is capable of perceiving the obvious, I guess I’ll have to explain for them why a ban doesn’t result in fewer crashes: people who talked on the phone while driving before the ban continue to do so, despite the ban.

Consider this little anecdote.

The other day, I was driving to meet my friend, Jen, when the phone rang. I didn’t answer it, because I’m not coordinated enough to drive and talk on the phone at the same time. I can’t walk and chew khat at the same time either.

When I arrived, Jen asked why I didn’t answer my phone, because she wanted me to stop and pick something up for her on the way. I explained that I didn’t answer because I was driving, and I can’t do both.

“That’s all I do when I’m driving – talk to people on my phone,” she replied.

Does anybody really believe that Jen will stop talking on her cell phone while she drives, just because the State of Wisconsin makes it illegal?

Let me tell you something about Jen. I’ve ridden in her car while she was driving many times. I’ve never seen her drive under the speed limit, ever. I’ve never seen her stop at a stop sign, ever. Yet the social engineers in government seem to think she’ll stop talking on the phone while she drives just because they tell her not to.

They might as well pass a law making it illegal for her to drive to George Webb’s at two o’clock in the morning instead of going straight home. She’ll continue to do that, too.

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