Sunday, July 19, 2009

Driving While Talking/Texting

Via Yglesias, I read this article.

I can't say I have never talked on the phone while driving, though I can't remember the last time I did it. I can say I have never texted while driving. I rarely talk on my cell and text even less often. Cellphones are not part of my lifestyle.

I do change songs on my iPod a lot, and often I have to look at the iPod screen to do so. Even then it's a major distraction.

Over at 11D we were talking about kids and unstructured time and the fears of letting kids bike or walk around the neighborhood. The real danger, as I see it, isn't the possibility that my kids will be kidnapped or molested. It's that they'll be hit by cars.

Last summer, a mother was walking with her daughter (on a bike) down one of our local streets. A car careened towards them. The mother pushed her daughter out of the way and was hit herself - and killed. They found her teeth in the grill of the car. That street is not precisely the one that is the direct route to my daughter's best friend's house, but it is a parallel/similar street, very windy, no sidewalks.

I am sorely tempted to have a sign next to me on the car seat, and whenever I see someone on a cell phone, I will put up the sign, which will read "Get off your fucking cell before you kill someone." Unfortunately for my desire for confrontation, I do recognize that such a sign would probably lead to more distraction and disruption on the road and put people's lives in danger.

I wish police would more frequently enforce restrictions on driving while on the cell. Of course, they themselves are on their cells a lot; a couple of days ago, a squad car turned its lights on next to me, and when I looked over to see if the officer wanted me to pull over, I saw he was on a cell phone talking.


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