San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pull Your Head Out Of Your Aps

Last week I wrote about how the career politicians and the career bureaucrats who serve them declared that it is "doable" to eliminate all traffic fatalities in the State of Colorado.  You can find that post here.  You read that right.  They honestly believe that the right combination of laws, rules and attempts at behavior modification can guarantee that not one single person will die in a traffic accident on a Colorado road in the future.  Over the weekend I was introduced to one of the strategies they are using to accomplish this "doable" goal.  The state bureaucrats at the Department of Transportation have launched a new program that offended and disgusted me.  It is entitled "Pull Your Head Out of Your Aps."
It is not difficult to pick up the pun.  Several years ago the lawmakers in this sad state created a new law declaring it to be illegal to look at one's personal electronic device, or PED as I like to call them, while operating a motor vehicle.  I was unaffected by the new law because I do not carry a PED of any sort.  I did, however, observe a very noticeable impact of the new law.  Prior to the enactment of the new law it was a fairly common occurrence to see folks driving down the road while swerving wildly and changing speeds for no apparent reason whatsoever.  Those of us who spend any time on the road at all knew that those folks were texting.  I have made significant changes to the places I will ride my bike because I did not want to become a fatality statistic for the state that has now made it illegal to die on the highway.  A report out of Fort Collins informed me that, "The city’s bicycle-crash rate hit 12.1 per 10,000 people in 2012. That’s the highest yet and has been climbing since 2000, when the rate was 9.5 per 10,000, according to city data."  This study, produced by the National Highway Safety Administration, shows a steady rate of increase in fatalities among cyclists all around the country, when measured as a percentage of all automobile related fatalities.  I believe a major contributing factor to the greater number of cyclist deaths is the practice of texting while driving.  Still I do not believe that there should be a law preventing texting while driving.  Biblical law has a solution to the problem. 
Biblical law deals with violations after they take place.  Man-made law attempts to create a myriad of laws to keep any real violations of moral law from ever taking place.  Biblical law frees man to behave as a responsible moral agent.  Man-made law enslaves men to rules and regulations that never accomplish the stated goal of reducing actual violations of the moral law.  But because all men naturally hate both God and His perfect law, they voluntarily and oftentimes happily enslave themselves to the laws made by men.  One of those laws is the law prohibiting texting while driving.  According to biblical law anybody who killed a cyclist because of texting while driving would be immediately executed by the surviving members of the family in a public execution.  Needless to say, it would not take too many of those public executions before even the most air-headed teenage girl would figure out how to drive without texting.
As I said, I have seem some change in behavior as a result of the law against texting while driving.  Rather than texting while driving along many drivers are now attempting what I call "speed texting" during brief breaks in the traffic flow.  Stops signs, highway delays and especially red lights have all become prime opportunities to send the vitally important text to their friends asking them how they are doing and where they are going.  In the old days it was only the first person in line at a red light who would not respond when the light changed to green.  That person would be instantaneously raged by the person behind him, with the honking of the horn and waving of the hand maneuvers, while the rest of us waited to go forward. Today it seems as if every other car is stationary after the light changes.  I look forward into the stationary cars and see a procession of bowed heads.  I know these good folks are not praying.  It is not hard to figure out what is going on.  The end result of the new law is that many more opportunities now exist for Yuppie drivers to express their unmitigated rage at the person in front of them when a red light changes to green.
I was driving somewhere over the weekend when I was treated to the new behavior modification program being enforced upon us by the state.  All of the electronic road signs in the city were making the same declaration.  You know these signs.  They can be changed by some important bureaucrat who works in some smoke filled room in the bowels of a building of bureaucrats somewhere downtown.  Usually the signs are used to threaten us with severe sanctions for refusing to do something the government thinks we should be doing.  Comments about driving drunk, raging fellow drivers, and smoking marijuana with the windows down are routinely displayed on these signs.  Over the weekend I was given the order to keep my head out of my aps.  I did not appreciate that one bit.
Besides the fact that the expression that is being used is a pun on a highly offensive sentence routinely used by the ignorant and immoral in arguments with their enemies, I do not see why the state government needs to tell me what I should or should not be doing while I operate my car.  As I understand it an "ap" is simply a computer program that people put on their PEDs.  Popular aps include GPS programs that people use to help them navigate around the city.  So if the new law is to be enforced properly it will now be illegal to use a GPS while driving.  Where is the sense in that?  This is especially true for the burgeoning throngs of pitiful people who are so directionally challenged due to the continual use of their PED GPS programs they can barely find their way to the bathroom in the dark. 
That night the local television news had a report on how people are responding to the new propaganda campaign.  Every person interviewed thought it was a good idea.  Most of them found the slogan coined by the state to be outrageously funny or at least very clever.  Nobody was offended.  Nobody was enraged that they were being treated like children.  Indeed I heard nothing but praise for the state and the bureaucrats who are attempting to modify our behavior for our own good.  I was so enraged when I read the electronic sign that I began to swerve wildly while I was driving down the highway.  I almost ran over a bicyclist as a result of my wild swerving.  I braked suddenly to keep from hitting the cyclist and almost caused a chain reaction with the cars that were all closely tailgating me as I drove along doing the speed limit.  I have concluded that the new safety program being administered by the state is just too dangerous for me to obey.

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