By Ray Dunaway

What I did on my summer vacation.
Not much. Spent the week in Mystic doing nothing other than reading a bunch of books, sitting by the pool, and revisiting favorite restaurants, including the DPI, the Oyster Club, and the Dogwatch in Stonington after a tasting at the Saltwater Farm Vineyard.
Contrary to what you may have seen online, I did not lead the victory parade in Germany, nor was I visiting the British Open.
Still, a good time.
Though I’m starting to get back into things, I did have a few items of interest.
Several years ago, following a severe accident which resulted in serious injuries to a relative, State Representative Richard Roy introduced a bill, banning the use of cell phones while driving, since the driver responsible for the wreck was on the phone and clearly not paying attention. The hope was that such a ban would prevent accidents in the future. And that seems to make sense.
But in new research from the RAND corporation, the University of Colorado, and the Colorado College of Mines, what seems sensible may have no effect on the incidence of accidents. The study’s authors compared accident rates from states with cellphone bans, and those without, and it seems there was no significant difference. Here’s a link to the Washington Post.
It seems that bad drivers are bad drivers, and if they can’t use their phone, then they’ll find something else to entertain them, such as the Ipod, the radio, a double cheeseburger, or kids screaming in the back seat.
And then again, from what I see driving around town, it seems a lot of people ignore the ban anyway.
That’s why I drive a manual transmission. It’s impossible to shift, and hold a phone. Maybe mandating 5 speed manual transmissions might make drivers pay attention.
And besides, if one is going to drive, then one should DRIVE. And a clutch and gearshift does just that.
And finally, a demonstration is planned in Hartford to protest the DoNo stadium plan. Interested parties from New Britain and Hartford will gather at the site of the proposed ball park and march to City Hall…. down Main Street….at 4pm.
While I appreciate your passion, jamming rush hour traffic downtown will not win hearts and minds.



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