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Distracted driving: another attempt to use kids to police adults

Jane Brody in the New York Times writes about "distracted driving" - that is, undertaking activities in the car such as re-programming your GPS, searching for a particular CD, putting on make-up or shaving, and so on. 

The article mentioned a new campaign set up by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association called "Decide to Drive", which "calls attention to the increasing number of distractions engaged in by multitasking drivers and the resulting toll on people's lives". It seemed like a fairly innocent piece. And then I read the following:

The orthopaedists' campaign will try to raise the national consciousness and change future driving behavior by taking their message to schoolchildren, especially those in grades 5 through 8, who may discourage their parents and siblings from driving distracted and refrain themselves when they become drivers.

There is nothing so manipulative, underhanded and Stasi-like than trying to brainwash kids to get them to police adults' behavior. We've seen it in environmentalists' campaigns, where kids are egged on to tell off their parents for not recycling, driving a hybrid, etc. Reading about the orthopaedists' campaign made me concerned that this approach to promoting social issues has become totally mainstream, and is accepted as perfectly reasonable without a blink of an eye.

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