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Chris Queen

Nanny Statists Vs. Truckers: LaHood And The DOT Try Once Again To Get Into Our Business

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Posted on December 20 2010 9:00 am
Chris Queen hails from Covington, GA. Check out his blog, Random Thoughts From The Revolution, and follow him on Twitter.

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On Friday, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said that his department is exploring the idea of banning cell phone use for bus and truck drivers. This, of course, comes on the heels of First Lady Michelle Obama’s attempts to combat child obesity with government regulation and LaHood’s suggestion that the government install devices that would jam cell phones in vehicles, rendering them useless.

Late last month LaHood appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and said:

There’s a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones and we’re looking at that. That’s one way. But you have to have good laws, you have to have good enforcement, and you have to have people take personal responsibility. That’s the bottom line.

“You have to have people take personal responsibility.” And the best way to do this is through government regulation? First LaHood actually says out loud that he is considering jamming cell phones in vehicles. And now, just over two weeks later, his department is considering a ban on cell phone use for truck drivers. Not speculating, but acting.

I certainly don’t advocate texting while driving, and I believe that everyone should use caution while talking on a cell phone in the car. But this nonsense from LaHood and the DOT is ridiculous. Truckers are the lifeblood of American commerce, and while they certainly seem to be responsible for more than their fair share of accidents, I still don’t believe it’s the government’s place to regulate cell phone usage among truck drivers. Many truck drivers are separated from their families for days at a time. Many of them drive into unfamiliar areas, sometimes where GPS isn’t always helpful. And while it’s best for them to stop somewhere to use their phones, on rare occasions it’s necessary to make a call while on the road, just like it is for you or me sometimes.

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