Cell Phone Bans Don't Work? Try Duct Tape

A new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute indicates that laws preventing motorists from texting or using handheld cell phones while driving haven't led to a large drop in the number of vehicle crashes. While the findings are questionable, let's say, for the sake of argument, that they're true.

So if bans on texting and handheld phones don't work, what's the next step? Two words: Duct tape.

We're all aware that duct tape has 101 valuable uses, and probably a lot more. Its potential as a transportation safety

Artwork: Chip Taylor
tool has yet to be tested, however. It's time we gave it a test drive.

I propose a federal law requiring all drivers and passengers to apply a thick strip of duct tape to their mouths upon entering a vehicle. No one could speak, of course, and the safety benefits of this simple procedure would be enormous.

Though only a partial solution, duct tape would prevent many distractions that plague drivers and lead to vehicle accidents.

Benefits of the mandatory Duct Tape Law include:

  1. Drivers couldn't talk on the phone, period. They couldn't use hands-free devices either, which apparently aren't any safer than handheld phones.
  2. Drivers couldn't talk to passengers, thereby eliminating another source of distraction. No relationship squabbles, philosophical debates, or idle chatter. Serenity at any speed.
  3. Children couldn't yell, scream, or ask annoying questions. A thick, durable slab of duct tape would eliminate a significant source of noise pollution. Parents wouldn't have to tell their kids to quiet down--one less distraction.
  4. Driving and driving? Not after the Duct Tape Law takes effect.
  5. Female pedestrians would be protected from annoying, rude, and sexist comments from male drivers.
  6. Road rage incidents would drop, as irate motorists couldn't yell at each other. Middle-finger insults would rise exponentially, however.
  7. In-car consumption of fatty fast foods would end. The nation's waistlines would shrink. Obesity epidemic solved.

What about texting? OK, my proposed legislation doesn't address that issue. But maybe there's a duct-tape solution for that drivers who text. Suggestions?

Contact Jeff Bertolucci via Twitter (@jbertolucci ) or at jbertolucci.blogspot.com .

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