By on October 2, 2009

Tilting at windmills or burning strawmen?

Having declared distracted driving an “epidemic” and “menace to society,” Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood moved to protect the American public with decisive leadership… by example. According to a DOT press release,

Last night, President Obama signed an Executive Order directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging while driving government-owned vehicles; when using electronic equipment supplied by the government while driving; or while driving privately owned vehicles when they’re on official government business.  The order also encourages federal contractors and others doing business with the government to adopt and enforce their own policies banning texting while driving on the job.

Which is a bit like fighting an epidemic (to continue Secretary LaHood’s metaphor) by telling federal employees to take an aspirin. Unless LaHood decided that the problem wasn’t as big as was making it out to be…

“This order sends a very clear signal to the American public that distracted driving is dangerous and unacceptable. It shows that the federal government is leading by example. I fully expect that all 58,000 DOT employees and contractors will take this order seriously. Let’s show our friends and families that we can resist the temptation to answer the phone, send a message, or allow some other distraction to interfere with our driving”

That, or it proves that you made a hot fuss about something you couldn’t do a thing about. So the president gave you a pat on the head and told you to go find a new issue to play with. On the upside, the ability to imagine in-car distraction as an epidemic (as opposed to say, a fact of life) makes it so much easier to imagine the public looking to federal employees as role models.

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5 Comments on “Obama and LaHood Team Up To Slay Distracted Driving. Sort Of....”

  • avatar

    So what about all the cop cars with there fancy laptops mounted to the dash and their wireless access?

    I can contest due to a trip in the back seat of a cop car in Richardson TX from an over due speeding ticket (oops), that they also “chat” while driving.

    So its not just “us” who are engaging in risky behavior.

  • avatar

    Is it just me, or does LaHood always look stoned?

  • avatar

    Lahood is an idiot. A corrupt porkmeister idiot (in his previous position in Congress) at that. No wonder B Hussein chose HIM among far better and more deserving Repubs to be one of the token repubs in his cabinet..

    Instead of just talking about distracted drivers, they should address the two far bigger causes of perfectly preventable highway deaths as well:


    These two together are the vast makority of the 44,000 annual deaths on our highways, and every year this amounts to ten TIMES the TOTAL war dead in iraq over 6 years!

  • avatar

    OK, there’s something WRONG with this? Jeez…

  • avatar

    I don’t know about you, but I’m sleeping much sounder tonight knowing the Feds aren’t text messaging. Nothing like government in action…

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