CA Governator Vetoes Ban on Automotive Lap Dogs

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Forgive the pun, but mobile lap dogs are one of my pet peeves. How Johnny Law can ban cell phone yakking whilst driving yet allow a motorist to pilot a vehicle with a canine– or two or three– sitting on his or her lap is beyond my powers of comprehension. And yet the AP tells us that “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is vetoing a bill to fine motorists $35 for sharing the driver’s seat with lapdogs or other animals.” Other animals? Let me see if I’ve got this straight. I’m free to drive down a California road with a goat perched on my testicles but I can’t do so whilst calling my psychiatrist to ask why I’m driving with a goat perched on my testicles. I’ll pay $25 to the first reader who can direct me to a news story where an airbag blew a canine into the chest cavity of a driver, and killed the bitch (either one). Anyway, Arnie considers an anti-lap dog bill a frivolous piece of legislation. “Schwarzenegger says he’s signing only bills that are ‘the highest priority for California.'” Mind boggled. Farago out.

Robert Farago
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  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Sep 29, 2008

    The bans are rarely that effective in things like this. How about we use public information campaigns and show films of how stupid distracted drivers look. My personal favorite is the inability of people to simply put the phone down when they get into a bad spot. I saw a guy fumble a U turn, then muddle through a sad Y turn, all while trying to talk on the phone. If he had put the phone down for a few seconds, he could likely have figure out where he was going, and gotten on the way very easily. Instead, a dozen of us watched him act like a complete ass being unable to turn a compact in a three lane road.

  • AJ AJ on Sep 29, 2008

    The government doesn't need to solve everything as much as we think we need it. If someone has a wreck because their dog started to bite their testicles, then let the owner pay for it as they will. I as a dog owner prefer for my pet to be in a dog seat. I sits up high, and their leash attaches to the seat keeping them from jumping out. It works great and they enjoy the view. But don't let the Governator and all find out about this or they'll make us by law all have dog restraint seats installed. LOL

  • PerfectZero PerfectZero on Sep 29, 2008

    "Translation into normal English: I can’t prove that a cell phone ban would reduce accidents, so I’ll wish this fact away with mumbo-jumbo, and continue to spook the gullible and the “do it for the children” crowd." Yeah, accuse me of "mumbo-jumbo" to undermine my argument, and then fail to provide any kind of counterexample. My point is that its impossible to determine the effect of cell phones alone using an overall measure like accident rate. On the other hand, actual studies in controlled environments indicate that it is actually a significant distraction. What kind of proof do you expect to get exactly?

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Sep 30, 2008

    PZ, I believe that the evidence of the studies showing distraction is less persuasive than the actual results. In fact, the studies often damn themselves because after you hear about them, you can't imagine why the accident rate hasn't doubled. Yet it hasn't. I was raised to be a skeptic. To look at the facts, consider things people said, and then make my own decision about what and who to believe. Over and over I keep finding that there is a direct link between reward and activity over time. What this means is that while you can't usually buy a particular result, the overall trend is towards results that lead to more security and success. IOW, it would be hard to get most good researchers to lie about a study for a check, but the results will usually be such that they do not endanger their ability to get more funding for research in general. In fact, the results will overwhelmingly support the general scientific and/or popular consensus as the researcher perceives it to be. Challenging results will be accompanied by lots of hemming and hawing in the text in order to soften likely repercussions. By far, the most useful research these days is done in obscure or esoteric fields where no one would seem to care about the results. These studies find the most useful stuff now, because the rest is mostly bunk. The really interesting thing is the psychology involved that allows most everyone to live with cognitive dissonance on cell phones in the car. Most people would say it's dangerous on a survey, yet most people still do it. We all believe that we can do it, and other people can't.