Hello to you all. I would absolutely love to write a piece on "global warming" today since it is currently -5 and falling outside, but I will leave that for another day.
I came across an article today about an attempt by the National Safety Council to get the government to ban cell phone usage while driving. The following is an email I sent to some of the Executive Management at the National Safety Council which I think explains my feelings on the issue very clearly. Below the email are the addresses of the individuals at the NSC that I sent the email to. I would urge you to do the same.
This email is to address a story I just read about the NSC's desire for a nation wide ban on cell phone usage in vehicles while driving. (http://www.nsc.org/news/cellphone_ban.aspx) While I believe that the motives behind your desire are good and are also consistent with the NSC's mission, I believe that a ban by the Government on cell phone use while driving is crossing the line. So many of the problems we are facing today result from a direct over-influence of Government in our lives. Our founding fathers were very clear that the role of Government in the lives of the citizens should be minimal. Today there are so many attempts to ban everything that could be a possible danger to us that soon we will have no liberties at all. People die in automobile crashes while they are NOT talking on their cell phones. Should we ban vehicles simply because they are dangerous? How about people who watch television and develop vision problems. Should we ban the television? I don't mean to be sarcastic here, but do you see my point? A governmental ban on cell phone use while driving is not a good idea because the government has no right to infringe on my liberties as set forth by the Constitution and the Amendments to that document. To add laws that restrict so many things would be to move our country back to a form of Government that led our Founding fathers to leave Great Britain and start this great country. Please leave the decision of talking on a cell phone while driving up to us; the individual. If someone causes bodily harm to someone else while talking on a cell phone, they will and should face the consequences for doing so. But unlike someone who drinks and drives and is always impaired by doing so, there are many people who can and do talk on a cell phone while driving and pay very close attention to the road and can drive safely. You can not compare drunk driving and cell phone usage even though the numbers and facts that you give in the article are alarming. We must realize that numbers can always be skewed by the person or organization putting the numbers out in order to make it more favorable to them. I would like to see the entire report on the numbers of cell-phone related fatalities and see how many of them were actually a DIRECT result of the cell phone usage. I am almost certain that the numbers are skewed because the report contains accidents that were not the fault of the person who was on the cell phone, but they are nevertheless considered "involving a cell phone" so they can be used in your statistics.
I actually have been a large supporter of the NSC for years. In fact, I have taught your CPR, First Aid and some OSHA classes in the past. But this attempt by the NSC to bring a ban on cell phone usage while driving is wrong and causes me to rethink my support of your organization. I hope enough people bring the same concern to you that you consider dropping this push for a ban and leave it up to the individual to make that decision for themselves. On a personal note, I do believe that driving while talking on a cell phone in indeed a bad idea, but government has no place to tell me that.
Thank you for all the good that your organization does for us. You are a valuable asset to our society. I just believe you are dead wrong on this one. Thank you again!"
Here is a link to the page with the emails of the individuals who received this email: http://www.nsc.org/about/exemanage.aspx