Friday, October 21, 2011

Texting Can Wait

You intuitively know this makes sense, right? Even those of you who text and drive know it:

ABU DHABI // A dramatic fall in traffic accidents this week has been directly linked to the three-day disruption in BlackBerry services.

In Dubai, traffic accidents fell 20 per cent from average rates on the days BlackBerry users were unable to use its messaging service. In Abu Dhabi, the number of accidents this week fell 40 per cent and there were no fatal accidents....

"Absolutely nothing has happened in the past week in terms of killings on the road and we're really glad about that," Brig Gen Al Harethi said. "People are slowly starting to realise the dangers of using their phone while driving. The roads became much safer when BlackBerry stopped working."

The precise statistics for traffic accidents in the two emirates this week were not revealed to The National.

The dangers of using mobile phones while driving was tragically highlighted by the death of the UAE international footballer Theyab Amana. He crashed his car two weeks ago into the rear of a road-painting lorry near Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi, reportedly while using a BlackBerry. His mourning father urged motorists not to use phones while driving.

I'm sure there are libertarians who oppose text-driving laws anyway, but I disagree. Motorcycle helmet laws are different. There you are pretty much only gambling with your own life. It's pretty clear though that text-driving endangers everyone on the road.

(course, I don't feel endangered by text-drivers. I mainly object to it because of the "get out of my lane before I have to run you into the ditch and beat you with my tire iron" aspects)