Obama vs. driving

Proof of yet another area where Barack Obama is a complete disaster comes from Jalopnik:

The National Transportation Safety Board just released its Most Wanted list for 2016. In hopes to end the boozing and the cruising once and for all, the agency wants states to drop their drunk driving blood alcohol content limit from .08 to .05 or lower.

The NTSB, an independent federal agency whose main jobs are to determine the cause of transportation accidents and to promote safety on our roadways, has been after a lower blood alcohol content limit for years now. We wrote about their proposal to bring that limit down to .05 back in 2013, and it looks like they’re still not backing down.

With a sub-heading “End Substance Impairment In Transportation,” the NTSB 2016 Most Wanted List Of Transportation Improvements discusses the prevalence of driver impairment in fatal accidents and proposes ways to reduce such tragedies.

The board’s suggestions include heavier use of sobriety checkpoints, ignition interlocks to prevent drunkards from starting their cars, treatment and supervision of repeat DUI offenders, and lowering the DUI blood alcohol content limit from .08 down to .05. …

This limit would mean your average american could consume only approximately two drinks in an hour, and that doesn’t jive well with the folks who want to sell you alcohol. The American Beverage Institute, a trade group based in Washington D.C. that lobbies for alcohol-serving restaurants, is pissed about the NTSB’s suggestion. The group’s managing director, Sarah Longwell thinks the proposal is targeting the wrong people, telling The Hill:

Instead of targeting the heavily intoxicated drivers who cause most fatal drunk driving crashes, the NTSB wants to penalize responsible adults who enjoy one or two drinks with dinner.

Longwell thinks we’ve been there, done that, saying:

More than a decade ago, we lowered the legal limit from 0.1 percent to 0.08 after groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving promised a huge drop in fatalities. Yet the proportion of traffic fatalities caused by drunk drivers has remained the same for the past 15 years. Why would moving to .05 suddenly stop truly drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel? The fact is, it won’t.

… But you have to wonder: if states decide to follow the NTSB’s advice and drop the limit, how many more Americans will end up with DUIs? How many Americans currently regularly drive with a blood alcohol content between .05 and .08 after a night on the town?

Sobriety checkpoints are as unconstitutional as speed- or red-light cameras. Given the Obama administration’s blatant disregard for the Constitution, it’s hardly surprising that Obama’s NTSB favors more of them.

The bigger question is whether or not reducing the legal intoxication level will actually lead to more drunk driving arrests. It actually won’t, at least until more totalitarian traffic law enforcement accompanies the lower levels. Police officers have to have probable cause of a traffic violation to pull over someone. Drivers do not generally get arrested for drunk driving right at .08. Ask your nearest law enforcement officer to estimate the average blood alcohol level of his or her drunk driving arrest. You’d be surprised how high the number is.

Elizabeth Harrington adds:

The agency issued the recommendation while admitting that “the amount consumed and crash risk is not well understood.”

“We need more and better data to understand the scope of the problem and the effectiveness of countermeasures,” they said. …

The National Transportation Safety Board also is seeking a ban on hands-free technology in cars.

“Hands-free cell phone use causes cognitive distraction,” said Christopher Hart, acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, during a press conference announcing the recommendations.

“We have recommended prohibiting all cell phone use, including hands-free, because a driver’s mind must be on the driving, just as their hands must be on the wheel,” he said.

The agency called for a “cultural change” for its recommendation, since no states or the District of Columbia currently outlaw hands-free devices.

“Since people have limited attention, each auxiliary task impairs our processing of the primary task. For safety-critical operations, distraction must be managed, even engineered, to ensure safe operations,” according to the agency’s recommendations.

So logically the NTSB favors eliminating roadside features such as signs, other vehicles, and passengers. They are all distractions.


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