LaHood Grandstands on Driving and Texting with new Decree Banning it, but what are the True Consequences.

January 26, 2010
Vehicle telemetry, satellites and ever advancing smart communication and driver safety systems are improving our commercial fleet efficiencies and safety, BOTH. Keeping trucks on dedicated routes, eliminating trips and smart telemetry in some studies have shown to reduce travel times 4 days a year, while these vehicles have also been shown to have better safety records.
As our National fleet safety record is improving why would the USDOT take a safety issue out of context in a populist effort to pretend it’s solving a major safety problem. Yes hand texting on a personal device is foolish and unsafe in many or even most instances, but not all, and at what price?
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While you’re ponder that statement, understand that the associated distracted driving police authority attached to these distracted programs has included mothers talking to their children, drinking water, changing the station on a radio or any other human activity while driving as a probable cause gateway for unfettered per se cause for traffic stops; fines, fees and roadside searches etc.
A 2,750 dollar fine is not insignificant, and how would you prove you’re innocence in the face of a national budget crisis and a presumptive guilty charge based solely on the officer’s assertion or feigned suspicion; particularity when all those in the process, including the court, share in the take.
What is texting, receiving an electronic message from dispatch or a live traffic update? What impact will this have on our existing fleet satellite dispatching systems or those looking to improve their safety and efficiencies? What about the new automatic hands free text to speech systems, and voice activated speech to text replies?
This LaHood action here was not properly vetted, this was pure POLITICS; look what we are doing for the People! A DECREE from on high, without forethought, subject matter expertise or an understanding of its consequence, or apparently the nature of our governing laws in this field.
What Congress, the people, press are ignorant of is that for several decades now is USDOT sponsored research has been a follow the money and power exercise where the findings are directly correlated to the funding, complete with invented data, contrived procedures and lack of scope as in this instance; not facts or vetted and or reasoned conclusions. These findings are then combined with coordinated, in advance, PR (propaganda) efforts by beneficiary constituents and minions of the NHTSA, FMCSA, GHSA, NSC, IACP, and IIHS et al.
These presumptive laws are in our view unconstitutional because they are designed to advance police power abuse, which has been a hallmark of USDOT policies for more than a decade now; the systematic removal of due process vis-à-vis USDOT regulatory oversight authorities.
This action by LaHood takes this police powers abuse to a new level, a Luddite prohibition, which will hinder vehicle telemetry and smart systems, commerce and our safety. The last prohibition, Congress’ National 55 mph Limit left us with a legacy of 60 million traffic citations being written each year for revenue, for otherwise safe driving according to findings of the FHWA and AASHTO. This authority portends a police state and presumptive guilty as a national standard.
Which always begs the larger question; before any action is taken that affects an entire nation our laws demand a thorough and meaningful review of the consequence, current trends and where technology is taking us, and its effects on safety or commerce.
In a “We the People” government any Decree from On High from an uniformed political appointee is of grave concern, especially when it has the force of law for an entire nation.
As the saying goes if you believe this is about safety, we also have Bridge for sale in Brooklyn you may be interested in. The head of the USDOT is rarely subject matter competent, as in this instance, but the single minded interest that runs the USDOT has turned into an empire building and for revenue syndicate operated by, and for, special interests that depend on the USDOT’s malfeasance, misfeasance, nonfeasance and disregard for our Constitution and the rule of law.
Are we as a nation suffering from Stockholm Syndrome? At what point did we identify with the expansion of policy powers, presumptive guilty, by the decree of a political appointee as an acceptable law of the land? Before we adopt laws that have such far reaching implications maybe we should study them looking forward, in context, while assuring Constitutional protections, fact based beyond a reasonable doubt probable cause, reasonable fines and due process for starters.