There has been many articles discussing this growing problem – people on cell phones driving in their cages, not paying attention to their surroundings.
As a motorcyclist, now that I’m used to them, I think they are pretty easy to deal with. Sure, they still pose some danger. However if you spot them ahead of time it’s pretty easy to predict what is going to happen. Treat them like they do not see you, and you will be OK.
However I noticed that there is new trend emerging, and it’s far more dangerous and unpredictable than simple cell phone talkers. I’m referring to drivers texting and playing with their smartphones.
Cell phone talkers drive on autopilot and even if their mind is somewhere else, they are still looking at the road so the brain registers and recognizes most dangers, sending signals to limbs to drive accordingly. This gives us a chance of recognition. All new cell phones come with a hands free option so there is no excuse to not use it.
Texters are 180 degrees different. Their eyes are off the road, and their hands are not ever covering steering wheel. Their behavior is erratic, they absolutely do not pay attention to what is going on around them. They drift from lane to lane with abrupt steering corrections. I have had few close encounters with these folks and every time they were awaken by my Stebel blaring in their ear few inches away. And every time they act surprised.
With a lot of states on brink of bankruptcy the government is desperately trying to find new sources of revenue. Registration fees get jacked up, state employees get fired, schools do not get the funding they need and deserve, and parking ticket fees are getting ridiculous. And yet nobody bothers to enforce “no texting of talking” laws that most states already employ.
If cell phone talking behind the steering wheel could be equaled to driving slightly drunk, then texting is like driving hammered and drugged, and it should be treated accordingly. Start giving out steep tickets to violators, and our roads will get a lot safer for motorcyclists and the rest of the drivers. How about $300 for first offence, $800 for second and license suspension +$1000 for third? With 90% of people guilty at the moment, I can imagine state cash bank will flourish. I would support this 100%. What do you guys think?