Symbolic Cellphone Bans

David Farrar points to this New Zealand Herald Article on a likely ban on using cellphones while driving:

The Transport Minister wants action this year to ban drivers from using hand-held cellphones.

Steven Joyce said yesterday that he would seek rule changes to ban voice calls and texting, subject to recommendations from officials and Cabinet approval.

He is waiting for a Ministry of Transport report on public consultation about the use of cellphones while driving.

He understood it showed a “broad level of consensus” on banning the use of hand-held cellphones.

Transport officials are busy preparing recommendations for public submissions on road safety actions expected to be taken next year to reduce dangers such as drink-driving and excessive speed.

Some of David’s commenters suggest that the law will be difficult to enforce. I agree, but see this as irrelevant to the purpose of the law. Like banning smoking on campuses, this is about the anointed having their vision of a safe and decent society formally approved in law. Symbolism is primary; enforcement, secondary.

I am convinced that the Politician’s syllogism can explain many policy choices, this included:

Premise 1: We must do something.

Premise 2: This is something.

Conclusion: We must do this.

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