Friday, November 11, 2011

IMHO - a rare rant

An opinion…

I tend not to use cyberspace as a soap box for spouting my opinions mainly because I don’t find other people’s opinions all that interesting and thus, believe others are not interested in mine.  In fact, that’s why I didn’t renew my subscription to Maclean’s (Canada’s news magazine).  I found it contained altogether too many editorials and opinion pieces.  

I want the news media to just give me facts.  Then, I want to form my own opinions.  However, earlier this week on facebook, I shared this article Woman who would have ruled the blogsphere.  My daughter had forwarded me the link.  It’s about ten historic woman who wrote letters, diaries, books, memoires, essays (before the Social Networking age ) to make tremendous changes to their world.  

I figured that perhaps, I too, with my raging opinions, could make a difference. We're gonna give it a try right here.

I want to opine about Alberta’s recently enacted Distracted Driving Law.  I want to question why the heck we need such a law.  Citizens complain about there being too many laws, about too much government interference, about the cost of law-enforcement, etc., etc. yet these same citizens behave in such a manner as to require a law like this?

Laws against murder, theft, fraud, illicit drug use, etc. are more or less there so we know how to deal with people who do such things.  I mean, everyone knows it’s wrong to murder, law or not, and the vast majority of us don’t murder.

However this law, this Distracted Driving legislation is for the majority of us—to let us know we ought not to text while driving, that it’s dangerous and illegal.  ?????? 

I’m serious.  A few years ago, before the law came into being, I listened to a police officer incredulously relate how people would admit to such distracted behavior—as if it were a valid excuse, not realizing they were incriminating themselves.  “Sorry, sir.  I  didn't mean to kill anyone. I was on the phone with my wife and didn’t see the kids playing street hockey…”

Like someone telling the investigator, “Sorry, Sir, but I really needed the life-insurance policy to pay off my drug debts so I murdered him.”  (You'll forgive me, right?)

Negligent driving, driving without due care and attention, has always been illegal.  That we have to be specifically told that this includes texting, phoning, programming GPS’s, surfing the net, reading, applying mascara….

How intelligent are we as a race?  

I suggest we smarten up and, while we're at it,  teach our kids some commonsense.  If not, the government may soon feel compelled to enact laws forbidding us from wearing black at night when walking on dark streets, from over-eating, from smoking, from drinking while pregnant, from falling asleep in the sun when it's +30C…from jumping off tall buildings…

There.  That’s my rant.  I don’t know about you, but I feel better.

 Eileen Schuh Author of THE TRAZ, Schrödinger's Cat
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Unknown said...

Nice blog, Eileen. I feel the same way about stuff. We just passed the same kind of law with the texting. It's crazy.

Eileen Schuh: said...

Thanks for dropping by. Yes, it is crazy.

Author Peg Herring said...

Eileen, I agree with you. Legislation is a poor substitute for common sense. I think it's due to the idea on the part of politicians that they can look good by "helping" with some hot-button topic when there are, as you say, already laws that cover the situation.

Eileen Schuh: said...

Actually, law-enforcement was very much on side with the new law. It will be easier to get convictions. Previously, police would have had to prove that texting was negligent driving, or that putting on mascara contributed to the accident. With this law in place, they just have to proof that these distracted driving actions occurred. Also, amazingly enough, enacting the law seems to have been very educational--something the cops predicted. Many people have ceaased these behaviours now that they are illegal. i.e. my children no longer answer my calls if they're driving

Cheryl Tardif said...

I think it's just plain sad that we even need these kinds of laws. But there are just too many stupid people out there.