Wednesday, December 30, 2009


As already mentioned on this blog, I recently attended a Senate confirmation hearing in which a number of Senators questioned the nominated head of NHTSA over his commitment to addressing the grave danger of "distracted driving". While mildly entertaining, listening to Sen. Jay Rockefeller and others rant about the dangers of texting also showed how Congress and the federal government engrosses itself in the most minute aspects of our lives.

It's with that hearing in mind that I read this story about the launch of a new federal website -- I kid you not. Is this really a federal responsibility?

Meanwhile, on the state level I noticed that Tennessee has apparently banned text messaging while driving since July. The state, however, only has one conviction to date, owing to the difficulties of assessing whether someone was actually engaged in text messaging:
The question traffic cops are asking themselves is “what is texting?” Lt. David Corman of the Metro Police traffic division says placing a phone call could be just as distracting.

“What’s the difference between looking at your phone and scrolling down to find a phone number and pushing the send button, opposed to actually texting? How do you distinguish the difference of those two?”

Corman says a driver could also be sending an email or even browsing the Internet.

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