Feds looking to ban all cell phone use in vehicles

America’s Nanny-in-Chief is at it again. Ray LaHood, a former Republican Congressman and now Transportation Secretary in the Obama Administration, is considering a ban on any use of a cell phone while driving.

“I don’t want people talking on phones, having them up to their ear or texting while they’re driving,” LaHood explained in an interview last week with Bloomberg. This and other public statements by LaHood make clear it is his personal view that people should not talk on the phone at all while driving, that is the basis for his anti-cell phone zealotry. The draconian ban LaHood is contemplating would extend even to hands-free sets and new technologies being developed by struggling American automakers to attract new buyers.

LaHood’s crusades against what he perceives as social ills includes bans on texting while driving and mandating seats belts on schools buses. But this latest trial balloon of his, which comes at the same time President Barack Obama is traveling the country promoting a $50 billion infrastructure initiative that includes ambitious plans for high speed rail, is beyond the pale and is the latest of his attempts to “coerce people out of their cars.”

As counterintuitive as it may sound, a study published earlier this year by the Highway Loss Data Institute shows that cell phone bans in three states and the District of Columbia did not lead to less accidents. The laws did, however, increase use of hands-free devices.

Even with a lack of consensus, however, LaHood still has powers at his disposal with which to coerce states into accepting this latest draconian policy of his; such as withholding federal highway funds, much like the federal government did to force states to comply with the nationally-mandated drinking age in the 80’s.

While it is being disguised as a feel good crusade to make us safer, this is the latest example of intrusion by the federal government into an issue that should solely be left to states to decide.

132 comments Add your comment

Still@theBAR

October 13th, 2010
3:41 pm

All of you LIBs need to go to Getting Schooled blog. Over here you want more LAWS and over there you want the US to ingore LAWS. I love you guys. “MAKE MORE LAWS, BUT IGNORE THE LAWS WE ALREADY HAVE.

mpercy

October 13th, 2010
4:44 pm

Many of you are missing what I think is Bob’s point. It’s not necessarily that banning cell phone use is a bad idea, nor that it’s not something that government should consider, but that it is a far cry from anything in the Constitution to think that it is something the Federal government should be considering. Should there be a federal parking ticket program? No. It’s clearly a local or state matter.

Still@theBAR

October 13th, 2010
5:12 pm

Fed or Local I thing we need a LAW against saggy pants.
Wait we have that already too. It is the indescent exposure law.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
5:40 pm

Lady Liberty,

“I picture Shaggy as a short fat bald man riding around in a 2001 red Porche with a blue tooth…a carefully designed persona derived to over compensate for his small appendages. But he is a safe hands free driver.”

Let me take a stab at picturing you. “Lady” you aren’t; the “C” word is more fitting if you are really a female, which I doubt. You voted for “change” and didn’t know what the hell that meant; it just sounded catchy to you as you stared at TMZ and salivated over celebrites, probably mastur&*ting while you watched…with kids in the room. You think everything is everybodies fault, except yours and your bad choices that have left you with a possible, future, “opportunity” to work late shift at the Wendy’s drive thru…that is if they don’t find out you were caught, arrested, and pleaded guilty for stealing from a Toys for Tots collection bin. They had to taser you for that little incident, because you wouldn’t give up the toy truck and had shoved it….up there, to hide it. You will win one day. That’s why you dutifully take half of your “assistance” check that you scammed the gubment to get, and buy scratch off and drawing lottery games. Even though you always seem to spend WAY more than the free tickets you WIN, you call doing this, your “retirement plan”.

Still wanna play?????

Lady Liberty

October 13th, 2010
5:49 pm

Shaggy…that is no way to talk to your dear mother my beloved son.

Still@theBAR

October 13th, 2010
5:58 pm

Shaggy are you still the Libertarian looking to get it legal for you to have sex with Scooby Doo and have it be legal? You have to go to name calling? the C word! Really? You say you are better than that so prove it.
We know that is all you can do is PLAY. So now just go play with yourself or Scooby Doo.

Still@theBAR

October 13th, 2010
6:02 pm

wow many comments.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:02 pm

So, you wanna play, huh? and the mother line is the best you have?

Nah, i’m changing my mind. My guess is you couldn’t read, much less pronounce and comprehend most of the words in my post.
Go back to your itty bitty blank stare expression world. It doesn’t get better for idiots like you, and the horrible truth is, you probably can reproduce. That is sad.

5150 P.O.A.D

October 13th, 2010
6:03 pm

WOW time to vote out the fools and try for som different CHANGE

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:06 pm

Still@theBAR

Which handle do you like best, Lady Liberty or Still@theBAR?

Was anyone scairt today of your little truck? Oh I forgot, there ainl’t no truck, only a not so vivid imagination of a dullard.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:09 pm

Still@theBAR,

I shouldn’t have said “which handle”. I am sure you have your dirty fingers around your “handle” right now.

5150 P.O.A.D

October 13th, 2010
6:12 pm

Shaggy I don’t know Lady L.
I ran my 4 stops. Is that too hard for you to believe?
I OWN (as in no mortgage payment) a 2 bedroom house and a 50 acre Farm with 2 shop buildings. What do you do exactally? I did some deliveries today, but I don’t always have to be in a truck.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:12 pm

Still@theBAR,

I have a picture with Scooby at some bar givin it to some fat truck driver wannabee that won’t leave the bar….bathroom stall. Is that you in the picture or Lady Liberty?

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:14 pm

My, what a load of personalities the wannabe truck driver has, and such a mansion.

5150 P.O.A.D

October 13th, 2010
6:15 pm

I guess that is how you play. I don’t go that way, but if you have the guts to try and make me your Scooby Doo then you just get froggy young man.

5150 P.O.A.D

October 13th, 2010
6:16 pm

Where do you live sweetheart? what do you do? How much do you owe? What do you actally own? HAHAAHHA! Don’t answer I am sure it will be a lie or some cuss words/ name calling.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:17 pm

“froggy”???? Too much. You do realize you are typing on freakin computer, or have you lost too many brain cells to know?

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:19 pm

sweetheart???? You are kidding, right? You better go back to that bar, and never leave.

shaggy

October 13th, 2010
6:22 pm

I would say it’s been fun, but it’s just been………not fun at all.
Go stick pins in your eyes.

Lady Liberty

October 13th, 2010
6:42 pm

Shaggy…don’t forget to put sunscreen on the top or your head when you go out to play in your sandbox. You remember how much you cried for mommy the last time the top of your head got sunburned.

Shaggy's mom

October 13th, 2010
6:44 pm

The pins he will stick in hie eyes are hopefully my # 17 Knitting Pins. The girls all told me if I was on top i couldn’t get pregnant. Well, Girls lie as much as Boys do.

Motocross Survivor

October 13th, 2010
8:15 pm

@Pappa Grizzly That arrogant attitude of “I have the right to yack/text and drive, and if I kill somebody I have the right to file bankruptcy and not pay anything” wouldn’t work too well. You may well face criminal charges, but if you hit me or mine, I would personally make it my prime objective to see you nailed to the wall, in addition to the charges. You’d wouldn’t be able to scrape together enough jack to buy a lottery ticket.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

October 13th, 2010
9:47 pm

If this law was passed, It’s Just another law i will ignore, Just like I ignore the anti-texting law we have now..and the seatbelt law..and the Income reporting laws..I even sell nazi memorabilia to people in germany and france ..If a law is anti personal liberty and pro nanny state, i will ignore it.

Auf Weidersehen, ya collectivist B*st*rds

ODDOWL

October 13th, 2010
9:50 pm

Transpotation Sect. Ray Lahood is exactly right, Talking on phones and texting while driving is more dangerous and deadly than drunk drivers. These inconsiderate, stupid idiots have become a menace to society on the roads.

Little

October 14th, 2010
8:12 am

This issue brings up the spectre of chicken little tweeting, “The sky is falling” while driving at rush hour causing an 80 thousand car pileup.

Once again, Bob Barr is right. If only readers would listen.

retiredds

October 14th, 2010
12:07 pm

Dear Bob, the states, especially in the South, have punted on this one, ergo, the need for the feds to step in. By the way, a persons “right” to drive and talk on the cell phone (which he or she chooses to do), ends at the bumper or skin of my car if he or she hits me. I have the true “right” to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, and I don’t want that destroyed by some idiot and self-serving distracted driver, period. There already is too much carnage on the roadways. If the states are so negligent in keeping the roadways safe then the feds can step in any time as far as I am concerned, period.

Allyana Ziolko

October 14th, 2010
1:20 pm

Mr. Barr, You are grasping at straws to put down the Obama administration. I grew up and lived for 55 years before cell phones came along, and you know what? We lived through not being in touch with each other when we were away from a land line. There is no way a person can fully attend to driving while talking on a phone or texting. Driving is a PRIVILEGE – not a RIGHT and I, personally, hate it and feel threatened when I see someone speeding down the road in a >2,000 lb. car failing to use their turn signal at every single turn because the hand they would use to turn on that signal is holding a phone, or weaving between lanes because they are typing while they drive. You want to make putting people lives in danger a civil right. If people are too stupid to realize you need to pay attention to your driving WHILE you are driving, then maybe we do need the government to hold our hands.

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bon

October 14th, 2010
10:44 pm

@Mark – actually eating and doing other things (in Oklahoma) are technically illegal, but not enforced. while I abhor phone use in cars, I know that a law like this would not be enforced except via consequences after the fact.

magog

October 14th, 2010
11:27 pm

Jennifer

October 19th, 2010
7:26 pm

I find myself paying more attention to the road than the talker. I am a diligent hands-free driver who has never broken any driving laws, or been in an accident while talking or not. They can try to enforce it all they want, the enforcers are just as guilty as the rest of us. I have seen them while on duty driving down the roads talking on their cell phones( not hands free by the way), so until they can comply leave us responsibile drivers alone.

gilly

October 19th, 2010
9:44 pm

It’s bull-sh-t! What’s next,you can’t have coffee,soda,snack,smoke,radio ect. I’m a Prof.truck driver & see Idiots weve in&out 2-3 lanes, then BOOM. So what, $50-100 fine for inproper lane change but make it $1,000 + 7 to 14 day licence suspention & the same for day dreamers who rear end you. If the GOV. put’s heafty fines on operators,I’m sure there attention while driving will be 100% better. The fines now are nothing,a ticket wouldn’t make them think twice, but the one’s I suggest will!!