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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.”

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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