Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Traffic laws

Today in New Delhi a series of new traffic laws were passed. The laws included normal things like running red lights etc. There is also a provision to prevent cell phone usage while driving which is a law that seems to be getting more and more attention and acceptance. Currently in the state of Colorado if you get in an accident one of the questions that you can expect to be asked is if you were on your cell phone. The new law that is getting particular attention is that people are not allowed to smoke while driving their cars. Justification for the law was given by new Delhi's traffic commissioner, he stated, 'Anything that distracts the attention of driver is dangerous. The human mind cannot do two things simultaneously'. the purpose of the laws is to make New Delhi's roads safer. Apparently all the people driving on the roads have little or no regard for the traffic laws. Larger fines are also being set.

Those caught smoking behind the wheel would pay $32, a heavy fine by local standards. Offenders caught more than five times would have their license revoked, the court said. The same fines apply to using a cell phone and the less well-defined offense of "dangerous driving." by comparison the fine for running a red light is $13. Maybe it's just me but it seems that running a red light is far more dangerous than smoking while driving. The government of New Delhi is claiming to have passed these laws to protect its citizens, but it would seem that it is more of a control issue. It would seem to me that danger is more prevalent when a vehicle is where it shouldn't be rather than if you choose to smoke while you drive or not. it would seem to me that in the interest of liberty action should not be taken on cell phone users or smokers unless it could be proven that they were in the middle of those activities when they got in the accident. I would also think that the governing bodies would have to be able to prove that the usage was the exact cause of the accident. If a person were to get rear ended while using their phone or smoking the punishment would be equal to that of the person that hit them. Smoking and talking on your cell phone cause no harm to others so in the interest of liberty the government should avoid regulating these practices.

1 comment:

Craig T Glackman said...

I wonder also if they have taken the radio out of cars. When I listen to talk radio, sometimes I am focusing on what the host is talking about, just like I would when talking on a cell phone.

This sounds like a classic case of parentalism. I know that India is close to a socialist country. We have many parentalistic laws as well- i.e. mandatory seatbelts, certain types of cooking fats banned in new york city. Why do we allow our government to decide what is best for us?