We have been noticing and occasionally writing about people sending text messages over their cellphones while they are operating a motor vehicle. And not just cars, either. They’ve been guiding transit buses, school buses, subway cars and even emergency ambulances into a variety of stationary objects for over a year now. And since most states have a policy of generously handing out drivers licenses to any warm-blooded creature that walks on its hind legs, this will no doubt continue and create a constant hazardous zone anytime you get close to a roadway.
One of our friends sent us THIS ARTICLE from the Washington Post titled U. S. Teens Report “Frightening” Levels of Texting While Driving.” The title says it all. The Pew Research Center released a report on Monday that says a quarter of U.S. teens ages 16 to 17 who have cellphones say they text while driving, and almost half of Americans ages 12 to 17 say they’ve been in cars with someone who texted while behind the wheel. Teens say their parents are texting fanatics, too.
Notice that last sentence. Parents are doing it, too. The people who literally instill the sense of whatever is held to be acceptable behavior in their children are setting them up to die. I don’t think that is an exaggeration to say that. Children grow up mimicking what their parents say, what they do, and how they behave. And to set this kind of example is more than just being irresponsible.
The story continues,
“The percentages of drivers who report texting while driving is extremely disturbing, given the severe safety hazards this behavior causes,” said Fairfax County police Capt. Susan Culin, commander of the traffic division. “However, the percentage of teen drivers that report texting while driving is even more frightening, due to their inexperience.”
Drivers younger than 20 had the highest distracted-driving fatality rate among all age groups last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers 20 to 29 ranked second.
The actual number of distracted-driving deaths and injuries might be higher. There is no blood-alcohol test to prove that someone was texting, and phone records are not clear-cut. Drivers who cause accidents are no more prone to admit they were texting than they are to say they were drunk.
It goes on to say that 81% of Americans admit that they have used their cellphones while driving in the past. We have had email and Comments from readers who have angrily reported that they have caught ambulance drivers trying to “text” while driving, sometimes while on an emergency. That should bring an immediate suspension. Likewise, if you learn that your child is doing such a reckless activity, they should also be suspended immediately from driving. Words can’t say just how unacceptable that kind of behavior should be.
* * *
Yesterday we concluded out second Mystery Minute story. The Mystery Minutes are meant to be a bit of fun for everybody and are planned to be an occasional diversion from the usual reporting of events that interest our readers. I have been quite pleased with the response to them so far. A higher-than-usual number of people have taken the time to email us saying how they enjoy the series. So for the time being, we’ll continue with the series. We have time for one more tale before the Yuletide overwhelms all other activities. It will begin this coming Monday and then after it concludes we’ll take a break until after the first of the year.
If you didn’t get in on either of the first two stories, try one or both of them out. They tend to grow on you and once you start, you can’t let go. MM #1, The Legend of Old Red starts HERE and MM #2, Off the Map …. begins HERE. There are links at the end of each chapter that take you directly to the next one, so have some fun.
Now let’s have some fun getting this equipment checked out. I’ll make sure that there’s plenty of coffee. See you back in the day room.