LaHood Sticks His Neck Out for Safety
So here's a shout out to Ray LaHood, still (as of publication time) U.S. Secretary of Transportation. LaHood said, in an interview with Bloomberg News , that the U.S. has a responsibility to consider banning all use of cell phones in cars -- hands free or hands occupied -- because the cognitive distraction they're causing is leading to rampant death and destruction. OK, those are my words. He put it more artfully. He says he plans to initiate research that could....COULD... lead to the conclusion that cell phones don't belong in cars. To which the current crop of neuro-psychological researchers say, "Duh!"
Predictably, the "you can have my cell phone when you peel it from my cold, dead hands" crowd has spoken up. Of course, they don't mention that we already ARE peeling cell phones from their cold, dead hands...hands that should have been gripping their steering wheels.
Realistically, it's hard to imagine a total ban on automotive cell phone use now. Once you allow a privilege, it's awfully hard to take it away (see: Prohibition. See also: Staying up 'til 8:30 to watch The Simpsons). But if you want to see a small act of courage by a public official in today's hyper wussy political environment, I give you a small act of courage. Hats off, and phones off, this week to Ray LaHood.