So, the Secretary of Transportation in the US has a been contemplating the idea of blocking the use of cellphones in cars (http://www.fastcompany.com/1703662/transport-secretary-muses-on-idea-of-blocking-all-cellphones-in-cars).
What a nobel idea, if you think that a ban on cell phones in cars could possibly work given that cell phones seem to be just one more distraction we face when driving around our streets and highways.
Yes, I do think that people shouldn’t drive while dialing or holding a phone, yet the analysis of blocking cell phone use seems to me so….political.
How about the millions of people who text and email while driving a fairly heavy machine at over 50 clicks, or change CD’s or tapes (yes, some people still have them), reprogram the GPS or change channels for the kids in the back watching TV (let’s not forget them, because what’s better than LCD screens on minivans).
Or how about some of the women I see every morning (and please excuse me, but they are by and large, women) applying all kinds of chemical potions to their cheeks, lips and eyelashes during the brief moment we stop, to what we refer to, as the red light.
And just so my female counterparts don’t get all upset with me, what about the guy next to me actually shaving in the middle of traffic, or the guy in front having a bowl of cereal. Unfortunately, this are not exaggerations. This are just observations over the past couple of years. It would seem that I’m making it up, but it’s real.
Somewhere, somehow, we lost the time to do our most basic activities and now we try to do them while we drive with no regard to our safety and the one of everyone else.
I’ve seen the interior of the new BMW series 5 fine driving machine. Its truly a remarkable piece of engineering. But looking closely the cup-holders in the front seats are really horrible. As if they were an afterthought, and the reason is that they are. They have been implemented for the North-American market. They are not available in Europe, mainly because citizens there, take very seriously their time for coffee. They usually don’t take it to go, drive while drinking it or even walk the street with the conspicuous tumbler.
And how about the brand new Aston Martin. At a quarter of a million dollars is a true jewel. Yet I couldn’t fail to notice that the two bucket seats in the back feature also a pair of beautifully detailed cup-holders. At 250,000 dollars I would never allow a coffee mug within 6 feet from the car, let alone inside it.
Which brings me back to legislating the use of cellphones in cars. How about, Mr. Secretary, if we legislate what we can do, let’s say….drive. We are allowed to drive and that’s it. If you can’t control it from the steering wheel, you can’t use it. The phone should be somewhere in the car, inaccessible. If you have Bluetooth and it will dial for you, great, just speak up. If you want to change the station, hit the little button. Sounds crazy and elitist? Well, it’s technology that is starting to be available on even the most economical cars.
Want to apply mascara to your eyelashes? If you have the Jetsons vehicle, you may, as long as the car will do it for you, or drive for you as Google is currently testing.
I guess that’s the only thing we can legislate given that we can’t legislate stupidity. Yes, stop munching on those Cherrios, you are about to spill the milk at 54 kilometers per hour. And that’s just plain stupid.