Get off the phone and drive!!!

I have ranted about the lack of indicator use in Temecula before. I would like to rant some more about that, but for now I will leave it…………

No, I changed my mind…… By NOT using your indicator, you are slowing the flow of traffic. Americans love their cars, they love to drive, they love to get to where they are going, you would think that they would have discovered  that inconsistent use of their indicators is hurting themselves!
Here is how it works. You are sitting at an intersection and you want to pull out. There is a car approaching. If he has his indicator on, you can’t pull out, you have to wait to see if he slows down and takes the corner. If he does not have his indicator, you can’t pull out, you have to wait to see what he is going to do. Either way, you are waiting. This happens time and time and time and time again…. and its not just me, I see other people doing the exact same thing at every single intersection. I am driving along, I put my indicator on to turn into a street, and the person there waiting, has to wait some more, because EVERYONE does not indicate, we ALL have to wait!
Its madding for me because I really focus on doing the right thing, and I help no one. I see people wait till I turn into the street before they pull out, just as I have to do for them. The driving environment over here wants me to stop using it (or put it on in the morning and drive around all day with it flashing away)!!!!

Ok, no, I don’t feel better, but it gets it out of the way so I can really blog about what I want to blog about with that off my chest…….
Every morning I read the news while eating my home made muesli (don’t get me started about breakfast cereals over here). I read world news, Temecula news and Australian news (and not always in that order).
Point is, I try and keep up with whats going on around the place.
Enter this article from the Herald Sun.
Its not about the video, but if you have the download bandwidth, feel free to watch it, it is a graphic reminder about what I am on about…….
I am sick and tired over here of people talking and texting on the phone while they drive. Its actually worse than not using your indicator. At least that just slows people down and clogs up the traffic, using the phone is worse because you are moving, often at speed.
If you see a car veering all over the road, run a stop sign, run a light, not pull off when the light changes, cut a corner, cut some one off on the freeway, chances are very, very, very high they are on the phone. It seems most people over here do not have home phones, they have cells phones, and they talk, and talk, and talk. They talk while they drive, they talk while they fuel up their cars, they talk while they are shopping.
Its the driving and talking that bothers me the most. And its not just because I’m on the bike. Yes, that is part of it, I am more exposed to your stupidity than if I was wrapped in a nice steel shell like you. Its the fact that when you are on the phone you close your eyes and shrink your awareness down to the voice on the phone.
Its hard to say what happens when you are on the phone, but something mental switches in our brains and we lose focus, thus;

Get off the phone and drive!!!

To finally get to my point…. Down the bottom of the article, I see that there are some new rules in Australia that they could do with over here.

From November, all hand-held mobile phones and navigation devices must be fitted in a holder or cradle.

YAHHHHH. Woza, they should have done that over here…. They passed a law over here about 8 months ago that requires drivers to use a hands free device when on the phone….. So what do I see now? Instead of having the phone to your ear (and driving one handed), they now put the phone on speaker phone and hold it in one hand in front of their mouths (and drive using one hand).
To my motorcycle brain, they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. If you are going to pass a law, make it a worthwhile one.
The erratic driving that I used to see before the law has not changed. People are still generally driving with one hand on the wheel. (Still just totally ignoring the mental issues of what happens when you have a conversation with some one over the phone).

The next new rule for Australia? They are going to ban all P-platers from using mobile phones while in the car period!
YAAAAHHHH. In Australia you currently have 18 year old’s that have just started driving and they can talk on the phone, over here, you have 16 YEAR OLD’S that have just started driving while talking on the phone (and texting as well).
Do I really need to mention what difference two years of maturity can do for a person?

Lastly, and not related, so I am not going to dwell on it to much, but from November motorcyclists will be banned from carrying pillion passengers under the age of eight.

So, the big ones are, you cant have a phone in your hand while behind the wheel of a car, and you cant be on the phone at all if you are a young driver.
Australia, you are a little late, but I like where you are headed.
America, wake up and show the world how it should be done.
In the mean time, someone please come up with a way of limiting phone calls to a maximum of one minute while a car is in motion.


One Response to Get off the phone and drive!!!

  1. I know what you mean. The scariest part of our trip over here was not the flight – it was the shuttle driver with the Walkie Talkie in one hand and the mobile in the other and he was alternatively talking in one then the other while doing 65mph and also swapped across 5 lanes of traffic.