Kiwi Polemicist

January 4, 2010

• No need to make cellphone use while driving illegal

In my earlier post titled Cellphones aren’t allowed while driving, you naughty children I slammed the recent law which made driving while using a cellphone illegal and proposed a better alternative. Now, there’s an article in the NZ Herald which supports my contention that there is no need for yet another law in this police state which tries to drown us in a stinking swamp of legislation.

Here’s the article in its entirety:

A Dunedin woman who was too busy texting her friends to notice the patrol car following her has been charged with dangerous driving.

The 25-year-old, who was returning from a trip to Naseby, was spotted by members of the public crossing the centre line on State Highway 1 between Waikouaiti and Dunedin, Senior Sergeant Mel Aitken said.

She was also alleged to have reached speeds up to 140km/h, Ms Aitken said. A marked patrol car followed the woman, with the officer observing her car crossing the centre line and exceeding the speed limit.

The driver was pulled over before Pine Hill where she admitted she had been texting a friend. She is to appear in the Dunedin District Court this month on the dangerous driving charge.

I simply cannot see any need for a ban on using a cellphone whilst driving when there are already laws that cover the results of doing such a thing in a dangerous manner.

Can you see what is happening here? Instead of merely wanting to punish wrongdoing (as in the case of the woman above [1]), the state is wanting to prevent wrongdoing, by making the use of cellphones whilst driving illegal. The only way to prevent wrongdoing is to take away the freedom of people by putting up fences around them and that, in my humble opinion, is unadulterated evil. When Big Brother and Nanny State start copulating we get cops controlling what you and I do in the course of our daily lives.

I believe that talking and texting while driving is dangerous and inconsiderate of others, but I do object to making it illegal.

Please read my earlier post in order to see a better way of dealing with people who use cellphones whilst driving.

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1. I would not classify what this woman did as wrongdoing because she did not breach the non-aggression axiom. I would classify what she did as stupid and inconsiderate of others in the extreme (I’m not saying that she’s stupid – I’m saying that she did a stupid thing).

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November 7, 2009

• Cellphones aren’t allowed while driving, you naughty children

The police state has slain another freedom: now talking on a hand held cellphone whilst driving is illegal [1]. This is from the NZ Herald:

For frontline road police such as Sergeant Ashley Gore, the ban on using hand-held phones while driving could not have come soon enough.

“We have been waiting for the cellphone ban to come in because we have seen a lot of bad driving and so many near-misses,”

Naturally the policeman and the NZ Herald trumpet the party line, whilst ignoring the fact that talking on a hands free phone while driving is about as dangerous as talking on a hand held one.

The NZ Herald goes on to say

Even before the ban, police were able to charge motorists caught driving erratically while on the phone with careless use of a motor vehicle.

Great, so now if you drive erratically whilst talking on a hand held cellphone you can be prosecuted for two offences instead of just one [2]. That’s like having state executions where they shoot people twice in the head despite the fact that once would suffice.

The cop’s statement typifies the attitude of those people who rule this country:

We have been waiting for the cellphone ban to come in because we have seen a lot of bad driving and so many near-misses

The key phrase there is “near misses”. Most of the time people manage to talk on a cellphone without causing any problems, but the state punishes the majority in order to ‘protect’ them from the minority [3]. Again and again our masters see something that causes occasional problems and they decide that it must be made illegal in order to maintain social order and justify their parasitic careers. It Is Important To Be Seen To Be Doing Something is their motto. It’s the same with the anti-smacking law: a tiny minority of people beat their children to a pulp so giving a swat on the rump steak was made illegal for everyone [4].

Here’s a better way. Talking on a cellphone while driving doesn’t violate the non-aggression axiom, so make it legal. At the same time, bring in restorative justice so that those who damage person and/or property as a result of driving whilst talking on a cellphone bear the full cost of the consequences of their actions, including medical care for the injured [5]. At present the cost of medical care for the injured is borne by every taxpayer, so offenders are shielded from the consequences of their actions. When people see what the potential cost of driving whilst talking on a cellphone is – far, far greater than a $80 fine – the sensible ones will stop the practice. The foolish ones will continue their habits no matter what system is in place, but at least with my plan they will receive a huge and just self-inflicted punishment rather than a paltry $80 fine from the state.

Making people bear the full cost of the consequences of their actions is a fair and just way of reducing the dangerous practice of driving whilst talking on a cellphone. It is also consistent with the laws of nature: when a child puts his hand on a hot stove the pain teaches him to stay away from hot stoves.

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Related posts:

The NZ Herald delivers state propaganda

What is a “social contract”?

Referendum on anti-smacking law: John Key gives the finger

1. Arguably it’s not a slaying of a freedom, but rather a removal of a permission. Experience shows that any ‘freedom’ we have only exists because the state allows it to exist. If you have trouble believing this, consider the fact that the state can take your house and property at any time, it can take your children if abuse is even suspected, it can force medical treatment upon you and your children, it controls what you put into your body, and it can take as much of your money as it wants to. New Zealanders have no legal means with which to to control the government, therefore the government is the de facto absolute ruler over them. You are a vassal, a pawn controlled by the state.

2. You can also be prosecuted if the phone is not ‘secured in a mounting fixed to the vehicle’. That’s right, you can’t put the phone on the seat beside you and use a hands free kit. For the full details see clause 23 here (PDF 96KB). The plain-English version (it’s as close to plain English as a bureaucrat can get) is here.

3. Who needs enemies when they have friends like that? The ban on using cellphones whilst driving is fundamentally a violation of property rights, i.e. it violates your right to do whatever you like with your property unless you violate the non-aggression axiom in the process. Think about it: Nanny State (Big Brother’s sister) is sitting in the back seat of your car and telling you that you cannot pick up the cellphone that you own.

4. That was one of the publicly stated motivations for the anti-smacking law. Here’s my version: our masters believe that smacking is wrong so they force everyone to parent as they do. This action arises from their conviction that every child is the dominion of that state not the dominion of their parents (as shown by the fact that parents must get permission from the state before they can home school their children). See footnote 1.

5. If someone is killed the offender should provide for that person’s dependents, providing what the deceased would have otherwise provided. At present every taxpayer bears the cost of providing for the dependents (via the welfare system) and therefore the offender is shielded from the consequences of his actions.

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August 23, 2008

New Zealand should have restorative justice

This article is in the the NZ Herald today:

Lewd calls made to wrong number

A drunk man who made lewd suggestions during at least eight phone calls to a number he thought was his girlfriend’s had instead called a Gate Pa woman in her 70s.

Shane Williams, 44, pleaded guilty in Tauranga District Court to a charge of misusing a telephone and was fined $400 plus $130 court costs.

Although there is a comic aspect to this, it may well have been quite upsetting for the woman.

Why should the State profit from this man’s drunken behaviour while the woman gets nothing? The woman has already paid for the services of the court by paying taxes, and now that she has been wronged she will get nothing, while the State gets another $530. In effect the woman is paying for crime and the State is profiting from crime. It is wrong for the State to be paid twice while the woman gets nothing, so the entire $530 should go to the woman. It is not a crime against the State, it is a crime against the woman, so the offender should make restoration to the woman; that is restorative justice.

The trouble with fines is that we have lots of people who don’t pay up, and chasing unpaid fines is very expensive. If the man cannot stump up $530 cash (more if he’s wealthy; $530 isn’t punishment to a millionaire, it’s a flea bite), then the court bailiffs should seize from him property with a market value of $530. If he doesn’t have that much property the punishment should go to the next level.

Prison and Periodic Detention is expensive, and people on PD just break their tools so that they can’t work. Both are social occasions where criminals get to meet fellow criminals and form new alliances. Therefore I think that some public humiliation is in order for minor crimes, which means putting people in stocks – see picture below. The trouble is that many people treat criminals as heroes, so put the stocks in a part of town where people actually disapprove of crime, and put up a sign describing the crime. Verbal criticism by the public would be allowed, but nothing physical, and an official to keep the away the friends of the criminal might be needed. I would also give the victim the option of being there to put their side of the story to the public. If you’re worried about emotional harm to the criminal, just think of the emotional harm to the victim: there is an excessive focus on the rights of criminals these days*. Maricopa County successfully uses chain gangs today, which is a form of public humiliation, and much tougher than being put in the stocks.

New Zealand should have meaningful punishments for crime. Crime is harm of others, and criminals should have a taste of their own medicine: only then will they find out that what they dish out to others isn’t so sweet.

* it is a common fallacy that habitual criminals have a “fragile ego”, when in fact they have egos like boulders of granite. In other words, they consider themselves to be the most important thing in the universe. That is why they are habitual criminals, because they will do whatever satisfies the desires of their massive egos, irrespective of the harm to others. If you hear about someone having an “antisocial personality disorder” it just means that they have an ego like a boulder of granite, so they give the finger to the rest of society. These people may or may not be criminals, but criminals are antisocial by definition.

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