Tue, May 12th 2009 4:52am
The driver of a Boston trolley that caused a crash that injured about 50 people was apparently sending text messages at the time of the accident, despite a transit authority ban on such activity. This latest incident comes after the horrible crash in California last year that killed scores of people, in which the train conductor was said to be texting, and highlights how bans like this, whether covering the drivers of trains or cars, really aren't effective. A reasonably intelligent person driving a trolley or other mass-transit vehicle doesn't need a ban to tell them that texting while driving isn't such a good idea. If they aren't smart enough to figure that out, they're probably just going to ignore the ban anyway, like this driver in Boston, undermining the point of the rule. Again, it goes back to personal responsibility, something that politicians and rulemakers won't be able to conjure up out of legislation, try as they might. This isn't to say that people like trolley drivers should be allowed to text while working -- far from it. But to think that putting a ban into place will, in itself, simply and easily eliminate the problem and make everybody safer is misguided.
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