Forget texting or driving with Google Glass. A petition on the WhiteHouse.gov "We The People" site is going after the true menace behind the wheel -- men.
Full disclosure: I'm also a man, and have been for nearly 15 years in the eyes of the law (although according to certain cultural traditions, I've got more like 13 years of official manhood under my belt, and folks who know me well tell me I'll never actually achieve the title).
The official demand of the petition is to "Prohibit Straight Men From Driving," although there's also a reference to include "men of other sexual orientations who are attracted to women" under the proposed ban.
The tongue-in-cheek (I hope?) petition draws a parallel between school dress codes designed to prevent potential distractions for male students and the common sight of sexually suggestive billboards, tank tops, and short shorts near roadways:
If straight men (and men of other sexual orientations who are attracted to women) can be distracted by the mere sight of a woman's thigh, then it is a public safety hazard to allow them to operate vehicles that weigh thousands of pounds at up to 75 mph past these inevitable distractions.
I detect a bit of sexism in this petition. Just hours ago, I witnessed a female driver stop in the middle of a crowded intersection to ask another woman in the crosswalk where she bought her dress. Isn't this just as dangerous as traditional ogling by straight men? To be fair, I'd probably perform the same dangerous mid-intersection maneuver if I saw some dude cross an intersection rocking an Android Vertu.
So while the petition has already secured more than 12,000 signatures of the required 100,000 to guarantee a response from the White House, I'd like to suggest an amendment: it seems clear the best course of action is to require that self-driving cars, as soon as they're available, be the only "drivers" allowed on the road.
What do you think? Is it possible not to be a distracted driver in some sense these days? Let us know in the comments.