Nanny-staters love to tell the rest of us what we can and can’t do. They say they’re saving us from ourselves, but they’ve deluded themselves into believing they can regulate the world into a bubble-like, risk-free environment. The latest crusade is what we do in our cars. It also appears the trucking industry is on the nanny-stater target list, as detailed in this story that I missed when it was published last fall. Since I have truck drivers in my family, I know the value of their phones and other communication devices for business efficiency, for their own safety, and for expediting aid to others in trouble on a dark stretch of road in the middle of the night, in an unexpected storm, or when a health emergency hits many miles from a hospital.
What nanny-staters fail to acknowledge is that any activity, when done irresponsibly, can be dangerous. Behavior is about people, not products. Those who cause damage to people or property because of their behavior should pay a price.
So what should we do about an incident detailed in the above-referenced story (emphasis is mine)?
On a highway in Oklahoma, a dump truck pulled into his lane from a side road. Long slammed into it, lost control and drove into a lake.
His truck was totaled. Neither he nor the dump-truck driver was badly injured.
Long said he had not been using his phone or computer, but he had taken his eyes off the road: “I reached down to grab a cup of coffee.”
Using the nanny-stater logic, wouldn’t it make sense, then, to ban coffee?