Something must be done

It is my understanding that legislation is being presented, which I understand will levy violators with a substantial fine for texting or Internet use while driving. The bottom line is that something must be done. I found myself behind a vehicle yesterday in which the driver did not look up from Route 10 and 1, until I turned onto Curtis Street; the driver appeared to be messing with his cell phone. He traveled in the middle of the road from Mountclair Road to Curtis Street, note I did not say in the middle of his lane, but in the middle of a two-lane road. A little later, my wife and I were out and found ourselves behind another vehicle that did not move when the vehicle in front of them turned right at a light. I commented to my wife that the driver was probably doing something on their phone. Another indicator was when the light turned green, the driver was looking down and the car did not move. When it did move, it sped away.

My wife, as a crossing guard, sees people doing things with their phones while driving, all of the time. She has enough trouble getting those that are paying attention to do the right thing at her crossing, much less the ones that are distracted by whatever. She sets her cones in the roadway to better demarcate the crossing. Vehicles hit her cones on a pretty regular basis, and sometimes drag them away to never be seen again. Thankfully, it is a cone that gets hit and not a child that is crossing before or after school, or my wife while attempting to manage her crossing.

I am going to tell on myself, in order to show how fast a mishap can occur. I was on a two-lane road and needed to make a phone call. I hit the call button, looked up and hit a mailbox with my truck mirror. As a means of accountability, I went back and told the owner that I had hit his mailbox. The mailbox was uninjured, but my truck mirror has a blemish that will be a constant reminder of why I need to pull off or wait until I stop to make a phone call. It really does not matter what type of distraction it is; any distraction could result in a motor vehicle collision.

Some states have become very proactive or reactive concerning texting while driving. These laws have come about because unnecessary deaths or injuries have occurred, and will continue to occur until every state has passed similar legislation. Our federal government is about to enact executive orders to enhance gun control. I would venture to say that many more people are killed or injured daily in motor vehicle accidents due to drivers being distracted by their cell phones. Hands free dialing and talking on the phone are much safer, but still a distraction. Technology will, in some way, keep up with laws that prohibit texting and emailing while driving. We must be willing to remove as many distractions as possible when driving.    

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