Jul 22, 2009

So, why did they?

Here is an interesting article on an issue that directlyaffects motorcycle safety: Why Did the Feds Bury Data on Cell-Phone Dangers? 3/4 of a year ago, several journalists reported that NHTSA had completed studies that found that "showed that all cell phone use is as hazardous as drinking and driving.” They determined this 6 years ago, but Bush's DOT cronies squashed the study results because their cell phone sponsors didn't want the information to affect sales and phone use. Screw the fact that thousands of lives (as many as 2600 per year since 2003) could have been saved, AT&T's execs needed their million dollar bonuses. It required the death of a 12-year-old boy and the dedication of his father to determine why the government decided to withhold this information and the legislation that the knowledge should have inspired.

As a motorcyclist, I put cell phone use near the top of the driver activites that inspire me to move as far from that vehicle as possible. Personally, I'd like to see a simple system that links a phone's GPS to the activation of the cell phone. If the phone is moving more than 10 mph, a small charge in the phone should ignite blowing the ear off of the phone user. That cosemetic damage could serve as a modern version of the "red 'S.'"


Anonymous said...

I like your GPS 10-mph idea very much. Some days it seems half the drivers I see have their phones to an ear. Is there so much more to be said now, in the "information age"? Or is it just a part of the shakiness of the individual, and the need for prosthetic, pay-s-you-go identities?


Life On Two Wheels said...

Well we passed the "Hand-free" law here in CA and it lasted for about a week. I actually noticed a difference in drivers who were hands free but they no longer pull people over using their phones, GPS, Texting, etc.

T.W. Day said...

What's with the waffling on laws in California? When I lived in LA, the cops were really tough on loud or illegal exhausts. As a commuter, I thought that keeping the ear-bangers off of the freeway made it less dangerous for lane splitters, soice fewer commuters hated bikes. Now, I hear that lane splitting is a high-risk activity and an overwhelming number of CA residents "hate" motorcycles.