Over Yugo

Okay. I’m knocking on wood big-time and throwing on my flame-proof clothing and fastening a huge lightning rod to my head just for good measure. Because I’m writing about a controversial topic today. I’m not so much worried that my five readers will flame me. Y’all can disagree with me or not. I don’t care. I’m more worried that the cosmos will slap me upside the head in some way. Knock me off the Big Mac next time I head to the Yooperland or whatever.

My topic is distracted driving and it is a hot topic in this god-forsaken state. I’m not sure where the Great Lake State is in the process to outlaw texting while driving. I dip in and out of news randomly and a lot of it is a bunch of yada yada to me. But we are heading in that direction. Now, I agree that people should not be texting while driving. I *can’t* text while I’m driving. Between my phone’s touch-screen and autocorrect (yes, I know I can turn autocorrect off but I choose not to), oh, and the fact that I drive stick about half the time, you’ll get nothing but a bunch of gobblety-gook from me. Not to mention that I might hit a pedestrian, cyclist, other vee-hickle, tree, *deer*, whatever. So I don’t. Unless I’m on the southbound I75 SUV Speedway on a Sunday afternoon and some nincompoop has decided to close the Zilwaukee Bridge. Because I’ll be sitting with my vee-hickle in park. (Dear Jenny, closing the ZB on Sunday afternoon is a bad thing. Don’t do it again. Tx, KW.)

Anyway. I don’t think people should be texting or even trying to talk on their cell phones while driving. I think it’s dangerous. I even think that maaayyyybeeee there oughtta be a law. But. I think we are heading toward a rather slippery slope because we are starting to go beyond talking about “texting” into the realm of “distracted driving”. How do we define “distracted driving”? Putting on make-up? Or panty-hose? (Who wears panty-hose anymore?) Reading a book? Eating? Changing the radio station? Settling a sibling argument? I don’t even want to think about the sub-topic of WHOOOOO will define “distracted driving” so we’ll save that for a nice rainy day. Then there’s the sub-topic of enforcement. How do we enforce laws against what people are doing inside their own private vee-hickles. What do we let the po-leese stop people for and do we let them search the car once it is stopped. And are the po-leese gonna be able to see far enough into our vee-hickles to see exactly what we are doing in them? How? Are we gonna give them x-ray glasses? Or maybe we should just start requiring that automotive vee-hickles be made with transparent bodies. Yeah, that would work… Roight.

In my dreams, we would do a few things differently. Driving is a privilege, not a right, but it seems like we have forgotten that. I am no teabagger but I am afraid that if we keep reacting to problems by passing more and more arguably-enforceable laws, our society will sink under their weight. If we pass laws against texting, what’s next? Will we be forbidden to eat in our cars? Will “they” tell us we can’t drive our children around? They *are* distracting. Why can’t we (all of us) use some common sense and be more responsible for our own actions. Texting or doing anything else while driving is dangerous. So let’s just not do it!

Yes, I re-wrote much of this. Why? Because it was a higgledy-piggledy mess, that’s why! Prob’ly still is but that’s all yer gonna git! 😛 Now to figger out how to detach this big old lightning rod…

9 Responses to “Over Yugo”

  1. Tonya Says:

    We now have a law here in WA where texting or talking on a cell phone (unless hands free) is illegal. It started out as a secondary offense (you’d have to be pulled over for something else before you could also be ticketed for those violations), but as of this summer it’s now a primary offense. I’m not sure about other types of distracted driving (makeup, etc.) BUT…I still see people doing it all the time!

    I just saw a clip on the news where some driver’s ed classes have courses (parking lots?) set up with road cones and cardboard dummies and the students have to drive the course while texting or talking on the their phone to give them a real life awakening of how distracted they can be. I think it’s a good idea!

    It’s TOTALLY a distraction and very dangerous! And the idea of texting while driving blows my mind because the eyes are completely off the road!

  2. Tonya Says:

    P.S. AND, a Seattle bus drive was just fired today for READING HIS KINDLE WHILE DRIVING HIS BUS.

  3. Margaret Says:

    I’m with Tonya and sometimes the only deterrent is a big old fatty FINE. I was talking on my phone in the supermarket parking lot but hung it up quickly before pulling onto the road since a cop was tooling by at the time. Distracted driving should be a fine too whether it’s reading while driving, putting on make up, etc… People may be in their private cars, but they are on a public road with lots of innocent bystanders. If they want to drive around in their own driveways texting, putting on pantyhose, etc… I have no problem with it at all. 😉

  4. Jay Says:

    I agree that you should not be able to text or dial, etc while you are trying to drive. My carpooler has a pretty sweet set-up in his truck. Push a button on the radio, voice to call, speak to the radio. Only drawback is it is a speakerphone that all in the car can hear. Although I am sure there is an earphone/bluetooth think if he wanted it. I still have to pull him off of his I-phone checking traffic sometimes. LET ME DO IT, I’M JUST SITTING HERE.

    I often get in my car to leave work, and then call home while I am waiting for the gate to close behind me (at a full stop in our entrance). Yesterday I called before the keypad as I was leaving with somebody else, and had hung up before passing through the gate. And there was a cop sitting in our entrance, monitoring traffic on the main road. I don’t know if he would have seen me as easy pickings for the $160 ticket if I had been on the phone when I hit the entrance.

  5. pooh Says:

    Though Dave laughs at me when I admit this, I can’t even text and walk, let alone attempt it when driving!

  6. jane Says:

    I’m pretty sure the ‘no texting while driving’ law is now effective in Michigan. maybe it started in July?

  7. kayak woman Says:

    1) Jane is right. Since I do not text while driving, the date that the law went into effect was immaterial to me. I do remember picking up Elizilla at Metro shortly after it went into effect and texting her *before* I left my house to say that I would be incommunicado until I got to the airport cell phone lot, so I must’ve been paying attention at the time.

    2) I cannot walk and text either! 🙂

    3) I do think we need a law forbidding texting. I’m just concerned about what we’re going to outlaw next. Driving while eating? Driving with kids in the car? Where does it all stop. Why can’t *we* (as a population) use more common sense and be more responsible for our actions. Yeah, I knooooowwww…..

    4) I maaayyyy do some re-writing of this entry because it is so higgledy-piggledy because I wrote it after a long day at work and while multi-tasking on a few other little prodjects.

  8. Mac Says:

    As a bicyclist whose life depends on drivers paying attention to the road my views on this may be more a little more personal.
    A law that helps in any way to lower the chances of me being mowed down by a distracted driver is a law I am in favor of.
    There has already been one cyclist killed by a distracted driver on the road I ride almost everyday. This is not a small problem with small consequences this is a serious problem with serious consequences.

  9. Dona Says:

    Maryland is about to have a law against something to do with cell phones. While I’ve never texted while driving, nor dialed the phone, I have answered it. A couple of weeks ago, before I heard about the Maryland law because I was still in Illinois dealing with family issues, I bought a hands-free headset. I used it the other day when I was waiting for two important calls (ok, one was semi-important, but the other was just from my hair stylist). It worked well. It fits in my ear and plays a little tune when I get a call. I push the button on the ear piece and can hear and talk, then push it again to hang up.

    I will not, however, wear this thing in public (outside my car).