It’s not often a Spout Off inspires a blog post from me, but this one – in Monday’s Daily News - woke up my inner cranky old man:
“This is to all the parents and guardians picking up or dropping off school children in the car-rider lines: Please, for God’s sake, take one or two minutes from your precious lives to stop your texting or talking on your cell phones!”
Amen to this Spouter! I see the same thing every morning I walk the Ferry Park Fitness Trail across the street from Elliott’s Point Elementary: Parents dropping off their snowflakes while trying to maneuver a Chevy Suburban and yap on a cell phone at the same time.
Seems odd they’d wrap their snowflakes in 4,500 pounds of steel, glass and plastic to keep them safe, then endanger their lives by calling their BFFs to gossip about last night’s “The Voice.”
Don’t think talking on a cell phone or, God forbid, texting, puts lives in danger? A study by SmartDrive Systems last year ranked the nine top culprits for distracted driving:
- 44.5 percent – Having an object in your hand
- 13.4 percent – Talking on a cell phone
- 12.7 percent – Beverages
- 10.1 percent – Food
- 9.9 percent – Smoking
- 9.1 percent – Operating a handheld device
- 5.2 percent – Talking on a cell phone hands-free
- 1.0 percent – Navigation systems
- 0.6 percent – Grooming
In other words, cell phone use figures into four of the top nine causes of distracted driving. And distracted driving in 2009 killed over 5,400 people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. I’d hate to be sitting up in heaven – or roasting in its basement - knowing my life was taken from me by a dunderhead who couldn’t steer and quack whatever profound thoughts people quack about at 7:30 in the morning.
The first person who tells me, “If you’re going to ban cell phones from cars, you should also ban smoking, eating, brushing your hair,” blah blah blah gets a virtual noogie. Sorry, folks; I’m not buying it.
Cell phones are more distracting because they occupy your attention, not just your hands. Even hands-free cell phone use distracts. And you won’t convince me any conversation is so important it can’t wait until you’re off the road, nevermind the mindless prattle currently microwaving our brains.
Pass a law that bans cell phone use while driving. Force people to be responsible and, in this case, unselfish.
And no, this was not posted from my iPhone.