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Cell Phones and Objects with Inertia

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Cell Phone Ban Sought for Calif. Train Operators

LOS ANGELES — The state’s top rail safety regulator said Monday he would seek an emergency order banning train operators from using cell phones, as federal investigators sought to determine whether the engineer of a commuter train was text messaging before a crash that killed 25 people.

In 2003, the NTSB recommended that the Federal Railroad Administration regulate the use of cell phones by railroad employees on duty after finding that a coal train engineer’s phone use contributed to a May 2002 accident in which two freight trains collided head-on near Clarendon, Texas. The coal train engineer was killed and the conductor and engineer of the other train were critically injured.

The California Legislature last month sent Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a bill that would outlaw texting while driving. According to the Governors’ Highway Safety Association, four states have banned texting while driving — Alaska, Minnesota, New Jersey and Washington — and similar laws are under consideration in 16 other states.

ED: I’ve been saying it since 1995, perhaps a bit earlier and that is we won’t get a law banning cell phone use while operating a moving vehicle until a congressman’s son or daughter gets killed by a driver on a cell phone.

Look, people, the single minded purpose of an operator of a moving vehicle should be centered on it’s safe operation. Said another way; “Get off your Goddamned phone and drive your Goddamned car before you kill someone!”

In this case it is a train which is even better in my opinion because before people “get it” it usually takes a magnified event; single car accidents just don’t get the attention this problem deserves.

Justified Homicide
At the end of 2005 over 207 million people were cell phone subscribers. You can imagine what that number is today.

In 2000, over 41,000 people died on the nation’s highways. That same year the CATO Institute calculated that of the 41,000+ deaths, 300 were the result of using a cell phone while operating the vehicle. The folks doing the calculation reasoned that individual liberty and free markets is worth those 300 deaths calling it “justified”. They further stated they did not believe a ban was wise citing cell phone use “provides substantial personal and societal benefits, but does not contribute to a large number of serious accidents.”

This is stunning. It is tantamount to an authority approaching you and then stating to you that your value as a human being and a functioning part of society is zero. The authority then explains that it is more important to allow others to exercise their individual liberty to access free markets and talk with a friend or family member while they drove their car. So based upon this comparison and assessment the authority pulls out a gun and shoots you dead where you stand and then turns to your family members and says: “He is one of the 300 people that need to die this year. Have a nice day”.

Justified homicide is the label to be applied here.

How do you like that?

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Written by Ben

September 19, 2008 at 7:50 pm

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