Handheld Devices: Stiffer fines or Roadside Suspensions are needed

Posted: March 16, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

The stupidity of some people never ceases to amaze me.

This post began with a rant or two on Twitter after i noticed AGAIN a person driving while texting, which in case you are not from around here is against the law as well as being extremely dangerous and stupid.

Let me back up a bit.  I was heading home at lunchtime, and as usual I just wanted to get where I was heading and not waste time in the car on such a beautiful day.  I’m sitting at the traffic lights, waiting for it to change. When it eventually did it seemed the car in front was extremely slow to turn the corner.   It was one of those things that really annoyed me because as i drove behind the barely-old-enough-to-drive-newbie-driver i noticed she was slow to change gears, turn the next corner, or accelerate.  After watching her turn into the wrong lane on a right turn, i turned into the proper lane and while passing her noticed she was holding her phone and texting as she drove.  It ticked me off to see such a blantant disregard for the law, which was put in place precisely for people just like her.  I needed to vent, so i fired off a tweet when i stopped at the bank.

After my brief assertion to the world, I continued along on my way home and was thinking it’s too bad there isn’t anything the average joe (or jane) can do in such a situation. which prompted the question…

I think i might be getting in trouble with the law if i started make accusations about drivers and tweeting their license plates, but it is very tempting to do so.  It seems to me that the fine if you are caught is not enough of a deterrent for most, either that or people think they can’t be seen.  I’ve actually seen drivers using their cel phones at night where you can see the glow lighting up the side of their face.  Aside from the fact it’s illegal to drive and use a handheld device, there is the reason for the law in the first place, the danger of it all.  In talking with a co-worker i was reminded that MythBusters did a story about it (back in 2005, episode 33 actually) in which they concluded that…

“Driving while talking on a cell phone is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.  CONFIRMED

Both Adam and Kari failed a general-purpose road safety test while talking on a cell phone and while driving drunk, with cell phones by a wider margin. However, Adam commented that one can easily put away a cell phone if necessary, but not simply become sober as needed.”

I’d have to agree, whether it is texting, talking, or reading an email, any kind of distraction is potentially dangerous, and one that takes your eyes off the road for any length of time makes the driver a moving hazard to everyone on the road not only themselves.  I don’t think that going handsfree is the answer either, sure it takes away part of the problem, but if you are overly distracted by a phone conversation while driving, you will end up in an accident anyway, but at least you’ll have your hands in the proper 10 and 2 position.

Do what i do, put the phone in the cup holder and just let your calls go to voicemail.  Instead of being distracted, you may end up noticing more of the world around you, and see parts of it you’ve been missing, instead of missing exits.



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