More on Cell Phones and Driving

In the wake of the “first study of drivers texting inside their vehicles,” Matt Ritchell reports in the NY Times that “thirty-six states do not ban texting while driving.” While some folks may not want use of their cell phones regulated by the government, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee:  The new study, which entailed outfitting the cabs of long-haul trucks with video cameras over 18 months, found that when the drivers texted, their collision risk was 23 times greater than when not texting. I’ve never been a big fan of cell phones and don’t have the patience for texting, but honestly those do it on the road are just plain stupid. Not only are they risking … Continue reading

Cell Phones and Driving

“Hey stupid! Drop the cell phone and drive“: While heroic politicians all over America are mandating bicycle helmets, it’s still legal to drive 4,000 pounds of steel 60 miles an hour while your brain is turned to the moron setting.[…] Here’s some more numbers for you: Motorists talking on a phone are four times as likely to crash as other drivers, and are as likely to cause an accident as someone with a 0.08 blood alcohol content, according to research. Do you even want to think about your loved ones cruising around with a road full of texters? It’s time for politicians to take action on this issue!

Highway Agency Wanted Total Cell Phone Ban on Roads

I don’t believe that anyone should use a cell ph0ne while driving. California was ahead of the game on this one, but apparently “seven years ago, the federal National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration recommended that drivers not use cell phones, even with hands-free equipment, while on the road except in emergencies.” The proposals from the agency in 2002 and 2003 were only made public Tuesday by The Center for Auto Safety and Public Citizen, two public interest groups that filed a lawsuit to obtain the documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The NY Times reported on Tuesday that “the recommendation was never made public, in part because of concern by administrators that public officials, including members of Congress, would … Continue reading

Don’t bet the farm the GOP is doomed

Has the GOP gone so far right-wing that the Democrats are in for good, or at least for many years? Bloggers, newspaper columnists and TV talking heads of the liberal persuasion seem to think so. I wouldn’t bet on it, and not because Obama is slipping some in the polls over a still sluggish economy. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a union-card carrying community college teacher who voted for Obama. But history, the subject I teach, shows the Republicans (and the Democrats) can bounce back from presidential election defeats, no matter how lopsided. Sometimes, it takes just four years. In 1964, Lyndon Johnson buried Barry Goldwater in one of the largest landslides ever. Democrats called it “Goldwaterloo.” Yet in 1968, the … Continue reading

Prescribing Cake to Cure the Health Care Crisis

Marie Antoinette, contrary to popular opinion, never said a solution for the starving masses of revolutionary France in the late 18th century was, “Let them eat cake.” But, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) apparently said something close to it. At a public meeting, one of Grassley’s constituents asked him, “Why is your insurance so much cheaper than my insurance and so much better than my insurance?” He then asked, “How come I can’t have the same thing you have?” Grassley’s response was a flip, “You can. Just go work for the federal government.” Grassley, who opposes universal health care, is happy with health care programs paid for with tax dollars and available for every member of Congress, all Congressional staffers, everyone … Continue reading