Thursday, July 03, 2008

Turning a Blind Eye

America is pretty lax about Drink Driving. a huge number of people seem to do it and there's no real social stigma attached (unless you get caught.) Most people have at least one funny story of how they narrowly avoided failing a sobriety test at one point or another.

For a Brit, that's pretty shocking. Over in England, drink driving is taken incredibly seriously. You automatically lose your licence for a year if you get caught (as opposed to just three months in America - less if you take a 'driver's ed' course.)

What's proven to be a far more compelling reason not to drink and drive, however, is the scorn and condemnation you'd get from your British peers. It's not seen as funny, or mischievous. It's seen as reckless and irresponsible and anybody with half a brain doesn't do it.

Funnily enough, however, both countries take a similarly lax attitude towards something that's proven to be four times more dangerous than drink driving - talking on your mobile phone while behind the wheel.

In America especially, it's as if half of the drivers you pass on busy roads have a cell phone clamped to the ear. I guess it's easier for them than me (my car has a manual transmission) but it still leaves them unable to use their turn signals or steer effectively - so they don't.

These irresponsible idiots blather away and cause untold accidents and injuries... Yet police still seem resolutely unwilling to punish them for their behaviour.

Studies have proven a driver is four times more likely to have an accident than if they'd quaffed more booze than an 0.8 reading on a Breathalyzer. Shouldn't this logically mean they should suffer consequences four times worse for their actions? Or, to play devil's advocate, that drink drivers should be punished four times less severely (a $5 fine and a warning, that would mean.)

I don't know. But what I do know is that people who talk on their cell phones while driving are irresponsible idiots and I have nothing but scorn for them.

1 comment:

Kitty said...

It's no longer treated mildly here - talking on one's mobile phone will land you a hefty fine and some points on your license. Lots of people now have 'hands free' set ups in their cars. x