Cell Phone Drivers
August 18, 2002
an editorial by: Russ Lancaster
Cell phones and drivers don't mix. It's a no-brainer; they just don't go well together.
Have you been behind or beside a car lately with the driver being on the cell phone? Chances are pretty darn good that you have. They are everywhere and they are dangerous.
I see them every day concentrating on their important conversation that just can't wait while attempting to get wherever they are going. I see them driving at 30 mph in a 65 mph zone and in the hammer lane no less. They are oblivious to the traffic piling up behind them or to the one fingered gestures other drivers are giving them as they have to pass them in the right lane.
They don't even see the flashing headlights of irritated drivers in their rear view mirrors not do they hear the horns blaring away to get their attention. No, they are in a world of their own not realizing the danger they are putting themselves in nor the hazard they are causing to others. They just have to finish that conversation with that special person.
I suspect that many of them do this by habit alone. They talk simply because they have become used to doing so. These are the most dangerous of the cell phone drivers. They are the ones who also leave the ringers turned on these same cell phones in restaurants, doctor's offices, theaters and such. They are the addicted talkers.
I see these addicts sitting at traffic signals that have long ago turned green. They weren't watching the signal even though their eyes may have been on them. If lucky, they will finally realize cars are moving all around them and step on the accelerator.
I see them cruising through stop signs with no regard. I see them weaving into my lane without realizing I am there. I see them suddenly slam on brakes as they finally notice they have passed their exit or street. I see them and I don't like them one bit.
There have been numerous studies that show eating while driving is supposedly more dangerous than talking on a cell phone while driving. These studies must have been conducted by cell phone drivers because I simply do not believe them.
I pass folks all the time eating a burger or donut while driving. Their eyes are on the road. Cell phone driver's eyes are stuck in their minds. They see nothing other than the face of the person they are talking to.
I see men shaving with an electric razor while driving to work during rush hour. They don't scare me. I see women putting on make up while driving. They don't scare me. They are good drivers for the most part. But cell phone drivers are totally distracted and distracting. They are in another world. They scare me! And, their numbers are growing.
Several states now require hands free phones for these idiots while driving. That is not the solution. It's not their hands that need control of the automobile, it's their minds. Eating, shaving, putting on make up... these are things that can be done while still concentrating on the road. Talking on a cell phone takes over that concentration and makes these people dangerous to themselves and all of us.
My wife has one of these cell phones. She has it because a friendly Jacksonville police officer convinced us we need one for emergencies. Other than emergencies, she uses the phone for the purpose it was intended. She calls from the parking lot of Alltel Stadium when leaving work (before she starts the car) to let me know she is on the way. She will occasionally call from a super market to check and see if I need something. But, she NEVER calls while the car is moving. She will do the correct thing and pull off the road if she needs to use the phone.
If you think you are an exception; if you think you can handle talking on a cell phone while driving, you are wrong.
Just do us all a favor and make sure you aren't dead wrong.
This section is to honor the works of Russ Lancaster who started the “I Remember Hamlet” web site years ago. Without his pioneering the web at that time we might not have gathered all these memories of our Hamlet, NC. We thank you Russ for what you started in 1996, may you Rest in Peace. Russ was kind enough to let me download his web site before he took it down. Thank you Russ.
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