Thursday, August 26, 2010

New hands-free nav alternative?

So this big Ontario hands-free law has been in effect for almost a year, and I still see squillions of distracted drivers yakking away on their handsets when they really should be focusing on keeping their vehicles from turning me into a hood ornament. I'm just that deluded to believe that I'm that important. Yet after a local cyclist was sent to hospital with life threatening injuries this morning after being flattened by a car on a stretch of road I often ride, I'm inclined to feel more than a little anxious that a law that's supposed to protect the rest of us doesn't seem to be working.

Which brings me to this rather facetious photographic moment. I was doing a radio interview from my car. (Long story short, I do radio here because a car makes a wonderful makeshift studio, devoid of barking dogs and pattering feet.) When I got off-air, I absent-mindedly plopped my netbook on top of the dash and snapped this admittedly lame shot with my BlackBerry. At first, I laughed. Then I realized it was anything but funny. For a brief and horrifying moment, I realized there's probably at least one person out there who would actually use a netbook or laptop as an improvised GPS device. Think about it: "But honey, it's got a 10-inch screen!"

There's always one. And that's the problem in a society where we trust others to do the right thing. As soon as one of us fails to uphold our end of the bargain, innocents suffer. This may be a funny-themed photo from my safely parked car, but I fear the moment when my path crosses with someone who just doesn't appreciate the difference.

The injured cyclist's name is Patricia Stacey, and the idiot who hit her has been charged. Thankfully, her condition was upgraded, and I hope you'll join me in praying for her complete recovery. And that her experience snaps the rest of us into rapt attention the next time we turn the key and back our cars - without netbooks on the dash or phones pressed to our ears - out of the driveway.

Your turn: What are you doing to cut the risk of distracted driving?


Scarlet said...

My thoughts and prayers are with your friend and her family.

People forget how dangerous vehicles and roads can be for both drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

Mark said...

That's awful that someone got hurt by idiotic behavior. I never have felt comfortable riding my bicycle on the streets, and with today's distracted drivers I'm even more leery. Too bad, because once our temperatures stay well below 100 degrees the 12-mile ride to and from work would have been great.

ThE MidLiFe CrUiSeR said...

Very true! I can't tell you how many times I've been out running, and I see people with their eyes on their stupid phones, and not on the road... I've even had to jump into the ditch a few times. Scary stuff!
I enjoyed reading your blog today, by the way. It's a great read, so I'm going to follow.

Katney said...

The driver who hit one of my first grade students several years ago was on his cell phone. Burying a first grader is heart-wrenching.

MorahMommy said...

Unfortunately there are those who are determined to get around the law. We can have hands free everything but if our attention is diverted away from the road, disaster will happen.


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