I have nothing against U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood personally but the fact that a chucklehead like LaHood has a job with any kind of legal authority makes me despair for the republic.
The man talks out of both sides of his mouth with seemingly no sense of self-awareness. In comments made while announcing a “blueprint” to end distracted driving, Sec. LaHood’s biggest hobby horse, the federal transportation secretary said he was calling on automakers to increase “voluntary” efforts to reduce distracted driving. “We think voluntary is the better way to go now,” “We’re not considering a rule,” and “I don’t have a bill to hand to Congress,” were LaHood’s talking points. The mailed fist inside that voluntary velvet glove was made clear in his other remarks, “We’re looking at things that have worked. We think good laws work. We think good enforcement works.” LaHood also urged Congress to enact stricter laws on distracted driving, perhaps a nationwide ban on cell phone use behind the wheel. Just to keep things “voluntary” LaHood said those proposed laws were only his personal preference.
What Washington does not accomplish with rules and laws, or voluntary compliance, it accomplishes with bribery and extortion. If states hope to get back some of the money their residents pay to Washington in the form of fuel and other taxes, they have to dance to Washington’s tune. As LaHood was laying out his blueprint for a future filled with voluntary compliance, his department announced $2.4 million in federal funding for California and Delaware to increase enforcement of local and state ordinances concerning distracted driving. LaHood has made distracted driving a major focus of his job as transportation secretary. He started this campaign three years ago and his devotion to “voluntary” efforts have, in the words of the Automotive News, “prompted 39 states and the District of Columbia to ban texting while driving.”
Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS