Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Having solved all of the nation's other problems, Congress is now turning to the ultimate threat to American Civilization in the twenty-first century: People who use cell phones while in the car.

The ones I always notice are the folks who have two driving speeds: 80 mph while listening, then 45 mph while talking. The last minute lane changers are lots of fun too. Of course, there's lots of people driving just as bad without the excuse of a cell phone, but it's always satisfying to catch that antennae and shout out, "Hang up and drive!"

(Important note: I, too, sometimes answer or make a cell call while driving. But I'm a real good driver, so none of this applies to me. Or to you. It's everybody else we're concerned about.)

According to New Jersey Senator Jon Corzine, "Just a few seconds of distraction while talking on a cell phone can mean the difference between safety and peril."

You see, that's why I could never be in Congress. I'm so stupid I thought that cell phones were just one of a million different distractions that could cause a bad driver to screw up. Of course, I'm relieved that Congress has identified this one scourge and is going to do something about it. I feel much safer. Really, I do.

A recent study commissioned by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that of 32,000 accidents analyzed, 29.4 percent were caused by an outside object or event while only 1.5 percent were attributed to using or dialing a mobile phone. Hmmm, doesn't seem to agree with Congress's findings. The AAA must be communists.

In the interest of public safety, I'm sending my Senators a list of other distracting driving hazards that should be immediately banned, including:
  • Changing tapes / CDs while driving
  • Children who talk (All passengers under the age of 14 must be gagged)
  • The use of maps in cars, or slowing down to look for an address
  • Applying make-up, brushing hair, or just admiring yourself in the mirror
  • Eating / drinking fast food while driving (To discourage this behavior all drive-through restaurants will be boarded up immediately)
  • Giving rides to your in-laws
  • Nose picking and finger nail biting
  • Playing air guitar or using the steering wheel as a drum kit (In fact, all FM radio broadcasts should be banned)
  • The flashing lights and sirens of the Highway Patrol (These always rattle me when they spring up in my rear-view mirror)
  • Other drivers within a quarter-mile radius of my car
  • Fighting with your spouse / significant other
  • Thinking about Congress while driving

This is just a start at my list. I'm sure there are other things. In fact, I'll probably come across a few when I leave for work in a few minutes. Maybe I'll write them down as I drive past them...

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