Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The thin end of the wedge just got thicker

According to those usual suspects trying to scare their way into the media with hyperbole, using a mobile phone in a car is equivalent to being drunk is it? TMP wonders how the generations of plod who have driven police cars at high speed while conducting frenzied conversations over their (not hands free) personal radios haven't all managed to wipe out the entire population of the country.

Yes, the escalation of the law on the use of hands-on mobile phones while driving is another one of those "what have you got to hide?" moments where the tireless ratchet of creeping authoritarianism clicks up yet another notch in its unceasing battle with common sense.

The biggest nonsense of all is that many so-called "hands-free" mobile kits are by far the most dangerous ways for a driver to fumble with the interface - especially when so many of us have become perfectly adept at manipulating a mobile phone with a single hand, including text messaging.

Those clots that cannot perform the task safely are perfectly well covered by the statue books stuffed with existing laws on driving behaviour, so why another? What's the difference between a phone neophyte and a driver fumbling to light a cigarette?

Perhaps we should add a section to the driving test to see if the driver is capable of holding a phone and a conversation without endangering other road users?

Now then, if holding a phone conversation is dangerous, then what about listening to an interesting radio programme - who was it that once said "radio has the best pictures"..? Banning car radios must be a logical next step.

And if it is "driver concentration" that we are legislating to isolate from distractions, how about the effects of arguing with a back seat driver? This must surely be sooo illegal that Doctor Obergruppenfuhrer Reid and his unfit-for-purpose Home Office colleagues must be planning a chain of new prisons to hold the convicts when that one makes it to the statue book.

And how about the distracting effects of keeping one eye on the speedo, and one eye looking out for gatsos? TMP fervently hopes that the next time a lorry driver mows down a bus queue, he tries that on as the excuse.

Where will this all stop?

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