I heard something noteworthy on the radio (a once-common method of listening to someone else’s MP3 collection while they spoke quite often and rang a bicycle bell when they thought they were funny). It seems there’s a government-sanctioned effort to tackle mobile drivers with the same vigilance as “Mothers Against Drunk Drivers” (MADD). I’m hoping the former finds a more aspirational acronym.
- It’s called FocusDriven (FUD), and it’s sponsored by your tax dollars via the Department of Transportation. The LA Times article points out that the founding members are those who lost spouses or parents in crashes caused by cell phones. I remember at J&J when there was a ban on DWP because a sales representative died while speaking with her mother. That’s sad, sobering and it changed my habits for hours.
- Seems distracted driving causes 28% of crashes. The rest, presumably, are caused by non-distracted collisions, which is odd.
- There’s even software that will shut your phone down if you’re going 5 MPH (I do wish they’d chosen 88 MPH for an obvious cinematic tribute) and, no, it won’t let you cheat for a quick call at the red light or traffic. It knows.
- In China, they won’t even let you watch porn on your phone when you’re driving.
This morning I’m having a Keurig and I discover Uncle Jeff recounting the 5 first miles of his Atlanta commute; he says “It’s a wonder my brain stem didn’t catch fire, or something.”
Hey I’m with you on stopping idiot drivers even if I’m among them. If I turned into a zombie and couldn’t off myself, I’d hope you’d make me proud and put a Red Rider BB-Gun right to my head. Distracted people can be as bad as drunks on the roads. When I’m not home, I sometimes use those roads to transport my offspring. Besides the genetic desire I have to further my species and bloodline, I wouldn’t want a tombstone with a big iPhone decoration on the top.
Look at this bastard for proof:
Then again. What happens if I’m not listening to the radio (don’t ask because I’ve already explained it to you), an audio book, or someone nag me about how hard I am to get in touch with? I’ll tell you what happens…
If my corpus callasum isn’t a raging inferno, I’m reming.
It doesn’t start as a nap, really. It starts with a dreamy gaze into the converging horizon, accompanied by the sweet rhythmic repetition of the road-side bumps designed, ironically, to jar you into wakefulness. Then the eyelids drop for just a moment, which I allow for some necessary liquidation. How long has it been since I blinked? Better catch up on this one. Yes. Just a moment more.
Woahahhhhh. Drool wipe. Look right and left. Adrenaline high. I’m alive. No crash. How long was I out? Am I crazy? Did I fall asleep for a second or ten? Stay focused on the road… stare at that horizon. How long has it been since I blinked?
So we do need some personal freedom, and some stimulation on long drives. But we also need to impose laws on morons that are so intrigued with the latest text message they forgot one swift move of their fingers can bring about a few tons of impact. It’s a balancing act.
If, in the end, I need to stop mobile calls — even handsfree and brainfree ones — then I’ll do so reluctantly. But in return, I want to see a few things on the next episodes of “Mobil Cops”:
- Guy with no shirt pulls over his 2010 luxury hybrid, and takes insane dash into adjacent yard. After some shaking-camera action, the suspect is later found by a wheezing officer… hiding under an upside-down plastic toddler pool.
- Business woman wobbling while shouting at cop, swearing she was “saying the f’ing Rosary” in her car and that’s why her mouth was moving.
- BMW being followed by squad cars as we see one, two, three cell phones get tossed from passenger window into roadside grass.