Going through my drafted posts I noticed a bunch I hadn't finished. Here is one that still has some relevance, so I thought I would finish it...
*********After a nice lunch of Zankou Chicken, my friend proceeded to head out to the Arclight to see Bottleshock (One-word movie review: Meh). At a stoplight my friend (who was driving), was called upon by a fellow driver. Being the good samaritan that he was he let my friend know that his tire was looking a little (a lot) flat. My friend unbuckled his belt to lean forward to check it out, and soon enough the light turned and we were off. His belt was off literally for less than three minutes. But as luck would have it, this three minutes was more than enough time for a bike cop to catch him with his seatbelt off, and promptly pulled us over for said violation. He was friendly enough, but as you can imagine my friend was slightly annoyed to have been pulled over for a momentary lapse in judgement.
Two things went through my head after this incident. First, isn't it slightly ironic that a bike cop is pulling over a guy for not wearing his seat belt? Second, isn't it odd that California has a law to make people be safer by buckling their seat-belts, yet put those same drivers at risk to brain tumors and/or cancer by forcing them to wear hands-free devices. Of course I'm generalizing a common fear that has not been fully backed up. As of now there is no strong evidence to prove that blue tooth headsets cause brain tumors, as explained in this 2000 report by the FDA. But the truth of the matter is there have not been enough tests, and there has not been enough time to properly study the effects of cell phone use. Being that the technology is still fairly young. (The National Cancer Institute has a great article out-lining much of the research and pitfalls regarding cell-phone use thus far) Bottom-line is that we're not sure how cell-phone use affects our brains, but regardless California has submitted all of its residence to these "possible" side effects.
In my Medical Ethics class in college we examined vaccination laws, and how they affect the population. Some vaccinations contain ingredients that can be deadly to those who are allergic to them (and just googling to do more research some vaccines also include mercury, and have been proven to cause Autism in CHildren. But why listen to me? I'll let you do the research). But what we're looking at here is a classic example of utilitarian ethics. Doing something to benefit the whole, even though it may damage a minority. Certainly blue tooth head-sets save lives by creating safer driving conditions, and there are blue-tooth options that don't affix to your head. But the fact of the matter is that California is making its citizens wear a possible deadly device, while also forcing them to protect themselves with seat-belts. An interesting paradox I thought.