Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Rivers' cell phone legislation fixes nothing; here's what needs to happen

Look, I get that Sen. Ann "Gas Tax" Rivers is one of those "hurray for me!" types, wasting our time and money with bogus bills so that she can take credit for something...

Well, unless it includes screwing the people of Clark County out of $700 million to pay for King County's bogus loot rail scams...  SO instead, we get this: The complete confusion of motion... with action.

Make no mistake: that's what this bill is and does.

It is already illegal to engage in any activity that takes your attention off the road.  Across the country, tens of thousands of idiots ignore those laws... exactly like those same idiots will ignore this law.

Cell phones generally... and texting while driving in particular... IS, in fact, a problem.  I don't deny that: no one in their right mind would.  But this bill does absolutely nothing to address it.

Here's what will:

ALL cell phones past a certain date (And no, I don't know what that date is) have a GPS capability... or, lacking that, a cell phone tower pinging capability.  In short, cell phones are smart enough to know when they're moving.

Software is already in use that restricts the function of apps when a vehicle is moving: the popular navigation app "Waze" (which I use) will not let you use it while the vehicle you're in is in motion.  You have to declare you're the "passenger."

That question does not come up if you're vehicle is stationary.

This shows that the capability to restrict use of a cell phone is already available in many applications.  And that is the solution:  this legislation should have required all applications downloaded and operated in this state to have built into them the requirement that they be stationary to be functional.

Yes, I know that software requirement would "impinge" on the "rights" of passengers not actually driving a vehicle.

And the idea that kids not being capable of texting in the back seat of a moving car is reminiscent of an M Night Shyamalan/Steven King horror fest.

But here's the kicker:  I don't give a damn.

If the idea of this waste of time, effort, energy and money (A bill going through the process actually costs thousands of dollars of OUR money, regardless of what it's for) is to save lives.... then let's actually do something to make that happen... instead of a worthless dog and pony show that will not keep one person out of the grave the availability of cell phones are destined to drop us into.

Meanwhile, Rivers gets hundreds of thousands... millions, perhaps, in earned media.  But the bottom line?

There's no difference today in this issue today than there was a year ago or five years ago or since the advent of the cell phone itself.

There.  That ought to make everyone feel just swell.

No comments: