Monday, December 19, 2011

A Few Words About Numbers

The National Transportation Safety Board said it loud and clear last week: ban all cell phones from cars (except in emergencies) or risk killing a lot more people; and I mean a lot. Not just texting while driving, but all cellphone activity. Among major cases cited for this recommendation was the texting trucker who wiped out a large Mennonite family on a Kentucky highway by his inattention.

CBS News researched this situation and came up with some startling statistics. Last year, 2010, there were 900,000 accidents in the US caused by driver inattention. These resulted in 3,100 deaths; in one year that's 78% of our almost 4500 combat deaths in 9 years in Iraq.

Now, not all deaths by inattention come from using various electronic devices, but our daily experience tells us many of them do. Kentucky, and the nation, needs to heed the NTSB's proposal and adopt it into law. Whatever your views here, 2012 is an election year in our Commonwealth and a lot of our state officials have indicated in the past little interest in this. These new figures and the NTSB proposal hopefully will help change their minds.

I mentioned our combat deaths in Iraq, almost 4500. Hopefully that won't grow as this week all our combat troops were reported out of Iraq. (Not forgetting 33,000 plus injuries including many major disabilities, and an estimated 100 to 150,000 Iraqi deaths.) As they come home, let's not make the mistake many of us did after Vietnam. Let's thank our troops. This totally avoidable war was made by politicians, not troops. Most of our men and women served with honor, valor and courage. They deserve the thanks of all of us; as we resolve not to engage in a similar misguided war again.

I'm just sayin'...

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