The Feds want Your Cell Phone

Washington bureaucrats have a message for you: no cell phones while driving, period.  Yesterday, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) “called on the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the nonemergency use” of cell phones.  Right now, this remains a state issue, but the power of the federal government looms large.

Just look at what Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said this morning on MSNBC:

My message is everybody needs to have personal responsibility. Everybody has a cell phone and texting device and people think they can use them any time any place and anywhere and you cannot drive safely if you have a cell phone or texting device in their hand. Take personal responsibility and put them away, and there is no text message or phone call that is so important that it cannot wait until you get to the destination. Put them in the glove compartment, and you will drive safer, and over the last three years we have used the bully pulpit to persuade states to pass laws and we have gone from 8 states to 30 state, and if people want to drive safety they need to put the device in the glove compartment.

Did you catch that?  In the span of 40 seconds, Secretary LaHood goes from advocating “personal responsibility” to using “the bully pulpit to persuade states to pass laws.”

And it goes well beyond big-government pressure on the states.  PC Magazine details pressure from the feds on the cell phone industry:

To enforce the new ban, the NTSB asks for some rather insane things from the cell phone industry. There are already apps out there that can restrict texting and other features if a car is in motion… But the NTSB wants those apps to determine a phone’s position within the car so they can be used by passengers and not drivers. Really? What if it’s on the center console, between the driver and the front seat passenger?

The nexus between big government and big business is alive and well.  When asked about the new proposal, a Florida man summed it up nicely: “I think it is ridiculous, I think the government is just trying to control everything we do nowadays.”  Indeed.

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