By on August 11, 2013

…new research from Carnegie Mellon University and the London School of Economics and Political Science suggests that talking on a cellphone while driving does not increase crash risk. Published in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, the study uses data from a major cellphone provider and accident reports to contradict previous findings that connected cellphone use to increased crash risk.

Oops. If this study, which appears to be organized along some fairly rational and defensible lines, turns out to the best representation of reality we have available, it will mean that the sole purpose of all the anti-talking-while-driving and mandatory-handsfree laws that have fast-tracked through the states in the past decade has actually been to, um, increase revenue from ticketing harmless motorists. If this in any way surprises you, then you might well be an exceptionally naive and trusting person and a few years from now I’d to introduce my son to any biological daughters you might have. This is government in the modern (and perhaps any) age: create a fear that shouldn’t really exist, manipulate the public into hysterics, extract cash from the public and divert it to the most favored recipients. It’s a tactic with an exceptional success rate and an appeal that spans the entire spectrum of political beliefs.

With that said, when the phrase “the public” is used, it refers to us. You and me. As individuals. Can’t we do better than providing the desired knee-jerk responses to whatever soundbites Messrs. Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Stewart, and Maddow scream and snark into our ears?

(Read More…)

By on August 10, 2013

Werner Herzog directed the surprisingly good Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans a few years back, and now he’s put his not inconsiderable talents to work making a film about the consequences of distracted driving.

(Read More…)

By on July 18, 2013

New York is one of 40 states that have banned texting while driving. In the four or so years since the ban went into effect in New York state, a bit more than 11,000 tickets have been issued for all hand held phone violations, including texting.

(Read More…)

By on May 8, 2013

Left Lane Priuses courtesy zazzle.comWe are bombarded with messages about the dangers of drunk driving, of the hazard of talking and texting on cell phones while driving, and the need to give a wide berth to folks driving Zipcars. We think there are many other varieties of unsafe motorists that get no attention from the media. As a public service, let’s take a look five subtle, but equally scary, drivers that make the highways a real challenge. (Read More…)

By on May 8, 2013


According to current information on, “in  2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver.” There is an all-out war against distraction of drivers, especially against cellphones. At the same time, current information at the NHTSA says that “In 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 70,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States.” Will walking be outlawed? We better stay at home then. Which can be even deadlier: Every year, 18,000 Americans die from accidental injuries that take place in the house, making our homes the second-most deadly place to be. The deadliest place is still the car. 32,367 died in a car in 2011, says the NHTSA.

Compared to walking or staying at home, especially compared to simply being in a car, distracted driving appears to be life-extending. At least when looking at the raw numbers. No wonder that the anti-cellphone movement is getting nervous, and is looking for more dead to bolster their case. (Read More…)

By on April 24, 2013

As part of their campaign against “distracted driving”, NHTSA has released new voluntary guidelines governing the use of in-car infotainment systems.

(Read More…)

By on April 9, 2013


Juan Barnett, aka DCAutoGeek, put together this infographic on “distracted driving” using NHTSA’s own data from their latest study. I’ll let you be the judge on the matter, but the numbers are straight from NHTSA itself.

By on April 5, 2013

In a move that will undoubtedly create a flood of profitable tickets save uncounted lives, Virginia has made “distracted driving” a primary offense and raised the fines to the proverbial ceiling.

(Read More…)

By on January 29, 2013

In what Reuters calls “the latest exit from President Barack Obama’s cabinet,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today that he would not be staying on for the second term. (Read More…)

By on July 6, 2012

They do that in South Africa.  Use your phone for texting or gabbing, and police in Cape Town will arrest your cell. (Read More…)

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  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Bark M., United States
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