Have phone, will drive….

As I was driving down the highway earlier today at a steady 70 mph, along with a number of other vehicles, from the rear view mirror a car came into sight.  Very quickly the car came along the left lane, eating up the distance and blowing by the rest of us as though we weren’t moving at all.  As the car passed me, I looked over and saw a young girl driving it while looking down, absorbed in texting on her phone.  I could clearly see the phone in her right hand, which was also steering the car as she was moving a finger on her left hand across the phone.  Barely any time passed before she had driven past everyone in view and was long gone.

I suppose I should say that I feared for her safety, but the truth is I consider the whole incident natural selection waiting to happen.  What I felt was anger.  I have three children and all of them drive.  I have three grandchildren and they ride in cars with their parents.  I have many friends and family members whom I love dearly.  That girl and others like her can text while driving 95 mph all she wants when she has the highway all to herself.  If she wrecks, she wrecks; that was the chance she took.  But since people have to share the highway, the rest of us ought to have a say in it.  The thought of this selfish idiot carelessly taking any of my loved ones out along with her infuriates me.

I wish I could see it as an isolated incident, but it’s not.  Every time I am out driving, whether on the highway or in town, I see people driving while texting.  Or if they aren’t texting, it’s rare anymore to see someone driving without a phone to their ear or in their hand.  They absolutely are a menace to pedestrians and other drivers, whether they want to recognize it or not.

Laws prohibiting it are not effective.  Common sense and common courtesy have failed.  Policemen can’t be everywhere at once.  I wholeheartedly believe that all motor vehicles should have a device installed in them that blocks cell phone signals when the vehicle is moving.  It is the only way to separate responsible driving from people’s ridiculous obsessions with their phones.  The case for needing a cell phone while driving cannot be made.  We managed to drive for many decades without them.  There is no good reason why people can’t pull off the road out of moving traffic to use their phones if they feel they just have to use it.  I never thought I’d see the day where I’d be longing for the good old days when all we had to worry about were drunk drivers, people falling asleep, and the occasional lady applying makeup in her rear view mirror; but that day is here and now.

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