First of the month rant — March: Time for state of Idaho to ban texting-while-driving

Posted: 03/01/2012 in first of the month rant
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There is a female driving an automobile with the license plate “MORTY 2” who is a danger to the public in Boise.

Don’t know her name, her background or anything about her.

All I know is I am lucky she didn’t sideswipe my car on Wednesday night.

The freeway dumps into downtown Boise and the road has a curve to it. “MORTY 2” was to my left and as the road swerved, there was her car creeping into my lane.

I’m always cautious around that area so fortunately I was on alert as her tires continued to move further into my lane. There was a car directly to my right and I had nowhere to go.

I put the foot on the brakes and slowed down so the back right side of her car wouldn’t hit the front of mine.

When the road straightened out, I passed her and looked her way and I wasn’t the least bit surprised at what she was doing.

She was texting and driving.

I stared over at her and she didn’t look my way. The female was looking down at her phone and not paying the least bit of attention to anything around her.

I have no doubt that “MORTY 2” doesn’t even know she nearly caused an accident that would have sent cars flying all over the busy road.

She was oblivious to everything except whatever was on her phone.

Unfortunately, there are dopes like “MORTY 2” all over Boise – you ought to see Eagle Road, the busiest street in the state of Idaho, in the late afternoons – who believe playing on their phone is more important than driving.

I found the timing interesting because Idaho legislators are debating a bill to ban texting-while-driving at the moment and you would think it would be a no-brainer.

Similar bills have been shot down in recent years and that makes little sense to me. I can see it is a huge problem just because I am alert while driving. You can’t drive a half-mile without seeing someone looking down at their phone or actually typing on it.

Do these lawmakers even pay attention to what’s going on around them when they drive their own cars?

Perhaps they are waiting for the statistics to grow – as in more people dying from this unnecessary issue – to finally do what more than 35 other states have done and ban texting-while-driving.

Or perhaps too many lawmakers are close buddies with auto insurance providers and know their pals don’t want to lose income.

Just think how much money insurance companies – and car repair outlets – make from things like auto accidents. Last thing they want is a texting ban.

Guess who pays for the costs associated with accidents? You and I do as our auto premiums continue to rise even when the driving record remains spotless.

I can remember there being a huge fuss right after Christmas in 2009 when an 18-year-old girl named Kassy Kerfoot died on Eagle Road due to texting and driving. According to news reports, the girl had no idea that the cars in front of her had stopped because she was texting. She looked up and swerved around those cars on to the other side of the busy street and crashed into oncoming traffic.

More recently, another 18-year-old named Taylor Sauer was killed when she reportedly slammed into the back of a tanker truck while texting on the freeway. News outlets reported she posted this comment on her Facebook page just minutes before the accident.

“I can’t discuss this matter now. Driving and facebooking is not safe! Haha.”

Before you think that only teenagers are affected by this situation, let’s consider that both the two young ladies listed above have families and friends who probably are haunted by the fact that a loved one died in such a senseless manner.

Also consider that any one of us can be driving down the road as a law-abiding citizen and have somebody who is playing on their phone cross into our paths. All it takes is being in the wrong place at the wrong time for any of us to have our lives affected by someone whose attention is solely focused on texting or using social media sites.

Basically, texting is the major way the younger generation communicates – heck, there was no such word as email when I was in my teens or early 20s – and there needs to be a law in place to set the appropriate standards and punishments.

There needs to be something that catches the attention of people. The word “illegal” tends to do that.

Yes, there will still be people who text while driving if a law gets passed. Just as there are people who speed and drive drunk despite the laws in place. But banning texting-while-driving will cause a lot of people in the Boise area to stop and the roads will become much safer.

Oh yeah, when you’re on your commute, please keep an eye out for a car with the license plate “MORTY 2.”

As I can attest, she’s an accident waiting to happen. Don’t let it be your car that gets sideswiped by somebody like her.

Perhaps Idaho lawmakers will eventually agree that folks like “MORTY 2” are dangerous.


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