You Can't Ban Stupidity, No Matter How Hard You Try
from the politicians-looking-in-mirrors dept
We've pointed out several times some of the problems with laws that ban talking on the phone while driving. The biggest issue is that they classify distractions into fairly arbitrary "safe" and "unsafe" distinctions, and do little to attack the root problem of bad or distracted driving. Now comes word that New Jersey lawmakers are looking to ban people from talking on their cell phones while riding a bicycle (via Textually). It's hard to know where to start on this one, but perhaps the biggest point of this is its pointlessness. If somebody thinks it's a good idea to talk on a phone while they ride a bike, particularly in traffic, you've got to imagine that the folly of such activity, or something similarly stupid, should become pretty apparent to them at some point. As we, and plenty of commenters on the site have said, you can't legislate away stupidity, and to try is pretty stupid in itself. Again, the problem isn't cell phone use, it's stupid people who can't figure out when is and when isn't a good time to talk on the phone. Making the activity illegal won't alleviate the problems their stupidity will cause; the only possible effect is that it prompts them to find another unsafe, yet perfectly legal, distraction to pursue while biking or driving.