Phone Use & Driving
A hate-able rant, with an easy solution!
We all see it. Some of us do it, and it is the cause to the traffic issues in metropolitain areas all over the world. Hear me out, as this growing issue is not only dangerous, but incredibly stupid. Forewarned I will just put texting and driving, while many times it is social media use etc.!
I, like many around the world, commute using mostly a motorcycle. I can say that I have began chickening out when it is both cold and wet, but if it is only one of the two I'm not concerned and mount my two wheeled steed and ride gloriously into the sunset (or so I tell myself). On a motorcycle it is important to be hyper-vigilant to all drivers seeing as they weigh a substantial amount more than I do, and I have nothing but a helmet, airbag vest and some padding to get me through my commute (about 33 miles or 50 km one way). During which I must say that texting and driving is causing all the traffic around metropolitan D.C. It is not even the people who are actually in a moving vehicle that cause it as much as the people stopped at lights, and or in traffic to begin with. Lets say the person at the front of a light is using their phone, and there is now a 3 second delay from when the light turns green to when they get off their brakes and onto the throttle (lets say 5 seconds to get rolling in total). The person behind them just waits, and the person behind them is also on their phone (3rd in line). Now there is a 10 second delay from the time the light turned green to when the 4th car can even get off the brakes. The pattern continues down the line and now the 31st person who would have made the light is stuck seeing 2 light cycles before making it through. While not 'dangerous' per-se this is seriously not only rude to everyone else's time, but one of the most selfish acts on the planet. What on earth could be this important to waste every ones time? Vehicles now have bluetooth/Carplay or can easily be retrofitted. I know like me, many of you, can pick out who is texting and driving in traffic, leaving an enormous gap, and brake lights applied as soon as the person in front (WAAAAY in front) applies their brakes enough to get the lights actuated.
Driving while texting is also insanely dangerous and I see it constantly. I have even personally started seeing people using NETFLIX, and YOUTUBE to watch shows/videos as they commute, putting their phones over their dashboard. They drive worse than a drunk person, they are slow in the fast lane, they are a danger to all. They not only cause accidents, but they cause traffic in moving traffic and it is still insane! While I wish with all my might that car manufacturers would install a giant metal spike that deploys in front of the drivers face if they are using the phone, I don't want cameras watching drivers as I feel it's an invasion of privacy, and freedom. I do, however, have a more simple solution involving law enforcement.
My solution to all of this involves police to not even patrol vast areas! It will not only create revenue enough to pay the police officers salary for the year within an hour, but it will stop this nonsense once and for all (at least at lights). Police just need to hang out at intersections, and during the red-light walk in between stopped cars. Your phone is in your hand? He points to you (obviously recording so slimy lawyers can't get out of it) gets your attention and you must pull over at the next intersection to receive a citation. 1st offense, $1,000 USD, 2nd offense double fine and automatic impound of vehicle, no questions, no baloney, no dang excuses. Phones in the hand sorry bro, your done. I don't even think they have to enforce it super hard forever, but they will have to enforce it substantially the initial first week or two, then sporadically keep people on their toes.
While I personally don't believe in the 'nanny state' of affairs, I also feel it should be a possibility to conduct 3rd party tickets, much like they do on military bases. If you see, and capture (go-pro on helmet/head) someone texting and driving, you should be able to submit the video to the police to receive the same violation as if a police officer was there. This is because it is recorded, and witnessed. Enough motorcycle riders will most definitely support this idea, and I would gladly spend the time out of my day to ensure people are not texting and driving, considering how irresponsible this action is.
I understand that people make mistakes, but instead of a horse-hockey tickets for exceeding the speed limit (which in the U.S. is ridiculously low and the standards have not changed with the increasing capability of the vehicles) people would actually get tickets for being dangerous, and or causing more traffic, more fuel consumption, more emissions all over a flipping facebook post/instawhocares. You have to pay to play, and if you want to play using your phone while conducting the more than likely most dangerous task of your day, well you gotta pay big.
Please let me know what you think. This is my first post, but I feel as if driving enthusiasts will understand. I make it a point to have my phone in my pocket, and guess what, I let phone calls go to voice-mail and txts be unanswered for hours until I can check it while not in a car with the ignition on and in drive.