Hands-free driving and texting dumba$$

texting and driving -- (C) Willow-Townsend ProductionsI’m no saint on the road. I’ve made my own dumb moves and paid the price. But when I saw this I experienced a visceral response.

I watched this guy pictured on the left for almost 3 minutes. Most of the time he had both hands on the phone, with the occasional grab at the wheel. This happened at the start of the evening rush hour on the I-5 southbound on-ramp in South Lake Union, Seattle. I was recording with my iPhone while riding in a shuttle bus leaving the city during a visit.

Watch the video:

What got me so angry was the thought that while this was happening, my eldest son was behind the wheel of a car for the very first time. With the start of Driver’s Ed, he’s now being exposed to dangers on the road that I used to just shake my head over.  I wasn’t alone in that realization. Moments after I shot the video I sent it to my wife. As you can see from the screen shot, she texted me back this: “Dude. Send to police. KT first time behind the wheel today.” Screen shot of text ©Willow-Townsend Productions

I explored the police angle. When I contacted my pal at the Washington State Patrol, I learned an officer has to actually watch the incident in person to be able to take action. It doesn’t matter if there is video-taped proof.

Why a blog post? I’m posting this to get people to think. I’m sure I will be called out for “social shaming.” Ok. I’ll own that. Maybe that’s what needs to happen to get people to just put down the phone.

Full disclosure: The worst I’ve done on the road was a speeding ticket when I was 19 and being caught by a red-light camera while driving on Long Island. Have I texted while driving? No. (I’m really not that coordinated.)

Leave a comment if you’ve seen worse. Share the video if you want to spread the warning. Broadcasters contact me before using my video. Really.

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5 thoughts on “Hands-free driving and texting dumba$$

  1. When I used to ride the bus to Seattle from way up North to Stanwood in the evening I would see this and tons of crap. People Putting pot into their pipes, texting, reading books and even newspapers, putting on make-up. You name it. A huge part of becoming a successful driver is knowing defensive driving and your surroundings. The areas that are known for different events or crime.There are bike riders, pedestrians, disabled and elderly, young kids on roller blades and skate boards. I live in the country with vermin, Dogs, horseback riders on our 35mph roads. I hope your son learns it all. Most of all being alert, having eyes on the road and nowhere else. I always say a little prayer before I drive or a driver takes me anywhere…”Dear Lord/Universe, please keep me safe and sound, and all of my family and friends as well, during our journeys today. And thank you for keeping us all safe and sound so far. Amen.”

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