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Monday
Dec172018

Dying for Freedom

We are told that Freedom is not Free, that people die in order that we have freedom. When a soldier goes to war he volunteers and he accepts that he could possibly die, after all a war consists of people on both sides trying to kill each other.  

When a person climbs into their car to go shopping, or on a business trip, or another gets on their bicycle, they do not accept that they could possibly die. They are not volunteering to sacrifice their life in the cause of freedom.

Back in 2011 the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that all electronic devices be banned from use while driving. One would think he NTSB has some clout, this is the organization that looks into airplane and train crashes.

Read any article reporting the NTSB’s recommendation and look at the comments that follow. People are talking about “Big Brother Government,” etc. etc. There followed a huge outcry against a cell phone ban while driving. People were concerned that a freedom was being taken away from them.

People are in denial, they think they can dial, talk, and even text safely while driving. The NTSB’s recommendation came about because a report showed that 3,092 people died the previous year because of distracted driving.

Compare the 3,092 who died in one year because of distracted driving, with the 4500 who died in nine years fighting a war in Iraq. You could say the 3,092 also gave their lives for freedom. The freedom to use a cell phone while driving, but ask the family members of those who died if their loved ones are viewed as heroes, Many of those who died were the ones using the cell phone.

My main concern is the number of young people in their teens and early twenties texting and driving. These are the ones with the least amount of driving skills, engaging in the most dangerous form of cell phone use.

The annoying part I find is that most calls and text messages sent and received are not essential. These are not important business calls that drive commerce, these are idle, stupid chit-chat between friends and family. I saw one TV clip where a 19 year old boy stated, “I sent an insignificant text, ‘LOL’ and I killed a man.”

So how did the NYB getting involved play out? Were there any widespread new laws be passed, and are the police enforcing them? Do the courts hold people accountable for their actions, and hand down the appropriate penalties?

When a local cyclist was run down from behind and killed by a distracted driver, the driver paid a $113 ticket. The same week a friend of mine got a $1,000 ticket for playing loud music in his apartment. The law is totally cockeyed.

There used to be another freedom that was never really legal but was tolerated for many years. The freedom to get totally shit faced and then get behind the wheel of a car. Although some people still drink and drive it is no longer socially accepted.

Had the driver who hit this cyclist been drunk he would have almost certainly gone to prison, but the outcome makes little difference to this unfortunate bike rider. Either way, he is still dead, and the only freedom he died for was the one to ride his bike on the road.

However, he did not voluntarily give his life in the cause of freedom, and will not necessarily be viewed as a hero. Society does not grant that luxury to his friends and family, but society wants, and even expects the freedom to continue using cell phones while driving,

 

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Reader Comments (5)

As a veteran, I can think of two times that I was afraid for my life.
As a cyclist, I can think of two times that I was afraid for my life ON EVERY RIDE.

Driving is not a right, it's a privilege. Here's an easy way to tell the difference: If you have to take a test to qualify to do something, it is not a right. The government is allowing you to do a thing and they get to tell you how to do that thing.

Going barefoot is a right. Going barefoot in someone's place of business is a privilege that may or may not be extended to the public. Going barefoot while driving a car is a privilege that is generally frowned upon by most municipalities. People seem to think that a car is an extension of themselves, so they can do anything in the car that they can do in their home. As soon as the car is put into drive, the right of car ownership has turned into the privilege of driving, and most of those rights you had a second ago start to shrink.

Anyway, good post. I appreciate you.

December 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterScott C

In Ontario, distracted driving changes will come into effect on January 1, 2019.
Drivers who are caught talking on their phones, texting, dialing or emailing using a hand-held device, such as a cell phone and other entertainment devices will be fined up to $1,000 with a three-day licence suspension and three demerit points.

December 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

In almost every "civilized" country (and in many others), already banned for a while. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phones_and_driving_safety#List_of_countries_with_bans

What's the "freedom" deal? Freedom to endanger other people?

December 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLee

As for drunks being charged with and punished for vehicular homicide, there was a recent case here in Chicago where a drunk (with priors) slammed into a cyclist with such murderous force that the rider's leg was torn off. The punishment? With a plea bargain, 10 days in jail.

Is the law cockeyed? in this case, yes indeed!

https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/cyclist-bobby-cann-bike-safety-clybourn-lanes/Content?oid=11385971

December 17, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermike w.

If you want to get away with murder, all you need to do is put a bicycle next to your murder victim then claim 'I didn't see him/her!'

Shame really that this isn't taken more seriously by anyone in the law enforcement or judicial system. ...but till more people ride bicycles (and motos) for transportation, we'll get the same treatment

December 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGummee!

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