Federal Ban on Handheld Cell Phone Use in Cars

The Infrastructurist has a post about Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood’s efforts to ban cell phone use while driving.

Beyond these basic guidelines, the bill directs the Department of Transportation to conduct a thorough study of distracted driving and, within two years, to recommend a standard of minimum penalties for the offense. States that refused to comply with this standard in a timely manner would have a portion of their highway funding withheld (McCarthy suggests 25 percent) — a penalty modeled on current federal blood-alcohol content standards.

Typical Federal government here.

Do we really need a thorough (ie. expensive) study of distracted driving? C’mon! We’ve all been stuck behind the guy on the cell phone who isn’t paying attention to traffic… and many of us have probably even been that guy. Also, rather than an outright ban, they are going to set a standard of minimum penalties and then extort the States into adhering.

Spend more money than necessary to study a problem, develop a set of penalties, and in the end pass along all cost of enforcement to the individual states.