Hot on the heels of yesterday’s piece on police “training” and ability, the always-amusing Ray LaHood has chimed in on the subject.
His position: The use of cell phones and other mobile devices should be absolutely banned for American drivers, on the federal level if necessary, no ifs, ands, or buts.
Unless, of course, you’re a supercitizen, I mean, police officer.
The transcript is here, but here’s the money shot:
LUDDEN: Okay. Let’s take another phone call. Jesse(ph) is on the line in Hartford, Connecticut. Go right ahead, Jesse.
JESSE (Caller): How are you guys?
Sec. LaHOOD: Good.
JESSE: Good. First, thanks for taking my call. I do live in Hartford, Connecticut, and I have received a ticket for talking on a cell phone while driving. I’m just wondering because I see officers in Hartford constantly on the phone while they drive. What would that have an effect on their actions and their behaviors if this law will become a national regulation?
Sec. LaHOOD: Well, in the states that have passed laws, law enforcement people are exempted because of the jobs that they have, and that the ability that they need to be able to talk on cell phones. I believe they are trained to be careful when they’re doing it. But the truth is, they’re exempted because of the safety because they’re public safety officers and they’re required to have that kind of communication.
LUDDEN: All right. Jesse, thanks does that answer your question?
JESSE: I guess I would just prefer that. I mean, obviously, the interest of the public safety is important. Ill tell you, if I’m an entrepreneur and I have 45 people who depend on my performance, and Im in the car five hours a day, would you support offering some type of class or training where I could have similar training and be able to use my cell phone while I drive, because I produce output from being on the road and being on my phone?
Sec. LaHOOD: Absolutely not. Driving and talking is dangerous. Using a cell phone or a BlackBerry is dangerous while you’re driving.
I really, really, really want some of this special training the cops are getting. Not only are they “trained” to murder innocent civilians while goofing around, they are capable of doing something that nobody else in the whole world can do: chatting safely on a cell phone while driving.
On the other hand, maybe I should be giving the training. I took a call on my Audi S5′s Bluetooth a year or so back during a lap of VIR and still managed to run laps in the 2:38 range…