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I can’t help but shake my head when I read comments that follow stories about the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration requiring little black boxes in all passenger vehicles next year, or U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood attempting to ban cell phone use while driving.

“Big Brother wants to ride along with you,” writes one man.

“I’m concerned about the government’s constant attempt to regulate our lives,” says one woman. “One piece at a time, they pick away at our personal freedom and that is the real issue here, in my opinion.”


I think the issue is you veering into my lane while typing your conspiracy theorist comment on your teeny tiny phone keys. I think I should be free to drive home after a long day at work without you T-boning me when you run a red light because you just had to send that last text. I also think that when you do hit me, I should be free to pull the Event Data Recorder information from your car to see how fast you were going and whether you even attempted to slam on your brakes. Then I should be free to use that information in court to sue you, if I’m lucky enough to be alive.

But I know: Whereas I believe the maxim, “If you didn’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about,” the conspiracy theorist will counter with, “If I’m not doing anything wrong, then why do you need to watch me?” The conspiracy theorist only thinks in terms of himself and his precious privacy. The conspiracy theorist never considers that the government isn’t watching him; instead it’s watching over the rest of us. Nor does the conspiracy theorist consider the void distracted driving accidents cause when a mother, father, son, or daughter is buried. That is, of course, until the conspiracy theorist’s mother, father, son, or daughter is killed in a distracted driving accident. Then the conspiracy theorist demands justice…and wonders why his government fails him.

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