Multi-tasking at the wheel is risky business
By Rich Anderson June 9, 2012 8:56PM
Updated: July 11, 2012 6:05AM
I recently read in The Herald-News that the Joliet police are ramping up their ticketing of motorists who text while driving (“Eyes on the road, not on your phone,” June 1).
Who of us has not been cut off by a businessman or woman going to work, a parent hauling the kids around or a youthful driver paying more attention to their “lap” than the road ahead of them?
I say bravo to the law enforcement community for finally enforcing a law that has been on the books for a while.
During my travels throughout metropolitan Chicago over the past few years, I have had multiple close encounters with texters, one of whom destroyed the rear of my car. I was on Interstate 355 during the morning rush hour. I stopped for traffic, but the driver behind me used the back of my car to halt his forward motion. As soon as he got out of the car he blurted, “I wasn’t using the phone.”
Another time, I was stopped at a traffic signal. I heard a bone-chilling screech behind me, and a young lady stopped her car on a homeowner’s front lawn beside me. She looked up at me, shrugged, smiled and continued texting until the light changed. As we drove our separate ways, she continued to text.
So, I am thrilled that the Joliet Police Department is targeting texters for the scofflaws that they are.
Maybe we can convince the General Assembly to target other multi-tasking drivers instead of raising cigarette taxes, license and other fees. Since pension reform, school funding and Medicaid shortfalls aren’t pressing enough to gain their attention. Maybe banning fast food drive thru windows, using GPS devices (I also got bumped by one of these drivers) or using a laptop or iPad while driving, can be accomplished.
I really avoid texting while driving. Personally, I really don’t have time to text on the way to my first appointment in the morning, because I am driving with one phone in my ear and checking emails on my Blackberry. All the while, my GPS is spitting out directions and I am eating my breakfast sandwich and drinking my coffee. Curse you, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
All kidding aside, thank you, Joliet police, for enforcing the laws and, possibly, saving lives, especially mine. I have to go. I’m parking my car.
Email Rich Anderson at
firstname.lastname@example.org, but not while you’re driving.