Saturday, May 23, 2009

Steven Baddour thinks driving and talking on the phone is safe

The state Senate passed a bill that would make driving and texting illegal, apparently having come to the conclusion that it's okay to "legislate against stupidity" when said stupidity will lead to the death and serious injury of others. In fairness, there are lots of stupid activities that could lead to driver distraction and an argument could be made that we don't need or want legislation that identifies and bans every last activity. Still, it shouldn't have required a high-profile T crash to make the point that texting and driving might constitute a special problem.

The Globe article on the vote contains this doozy:

"A lot of us who opposed this in the past realize that there's a new generation of drivers who think it's OK to text while they're driving," said Senator Steven Baddour, a Methuen Democrat who is chairman of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Transportation and was one of the leading opponents of previous proposals. "This generation clearly doesn't get it. It's not the same as talking on a cellphone. You can't text safely while driving." (Emphasis added.)

Does Steven Baddour really think that it's safe to drive and talk on a cellphone? Does he get it?

There may be reasons not to ban cellphone use while driving, but it's just plain irresponsible to suggest that it is the safe counterexample to texting while driving.

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