Just a few years after most people sent their first text message, texting while driving is already banned in 19 states. This swift public policy action banning talking or texting on mobile phones while driving is in stark contrast to what happened in the 1970s when people tried to get the public to take drunk driving seriously, says Chuck Hurley, the chief executive officer of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD.
The United States has created a built environment that demands that nearly every trip be an auto trip. Americans are also very sensitive to issues of child safety and protection. So why, understanding that automobile accidents are by far the leading cause of death for children more than one month old, do we never discuss the risks we subject our kids to by forcing them to make multiple auto trips daily? Why do child protection organizations and advocacy groups focus on things like car seats and auto safety and not the more obvious and effective approach of reducing automobile trips? Are we that addicted to our cars that we can look at our children and believe that more padding and better armor is the solution?
Can the police search your cell phone without a warrant? Can the police look at what’s on your cell phone without a warrant? The California Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision this week, said yes. Your phone, texts, emails, whatever is found on that phone, is fair game. It’s a move that could have a big impact on issues of privacy and search & seizure. We look at the case and its implications.