Monday, August 10, 2009

More Illinois Hipocrisy

The text of the Illinois cell phone ban law:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=096-0130&print=true&write=
(d) This Section does not apply to:
(1) a law enforcement officer or operator of an
emergency vehicle while performing his or her official
duties;
I thought the reasoning for this law was public safety- that distracted driving causes unsafe situations that lead to harm to motorists and others. And that (it is claimed) using cell phones has been scientifically proven to be a cause of distraction. If that's true, then how is it justifiable that law enforcement/emergency drivers are exempt from this law? Certainly, they are human and thus prone to the same distractions as the rest of us. And further, they have MORE distractions going on in the driver's seat than the rest of us. How then can it be right to specifically exempt them from this law?

I can only conclude two things from this: either, we trust this protected class to not engage in this "dangerous" behavior; or, it's not really a dangerous behavior in and of itself.

Either way, it shows that this law isn't really about safe driving. If it is possible for police officers and emergency vehicle drivers to drive safely while using cell phones, then it certainly is possible for other drivers to do the same. And so, yet again, we have a law that purports to protect the public by removing freedoms from some citizens and not others. And it cannot be effective- driving while distracted is already against the law. If drivers are going to ignore that law, they will surely ignore this one. So the effect will be that police officers have another reason to pull over drivers outside of observations of poor driving, generating ticket revenue, and keeping police officers from actually policing the roads.

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