Can’t see the forest because of the trees
You can’t see the forest because of the trees. You could lose your glasses if they were on your face. We’ve heard these sayings before and many more like them when we can’t seem to see the obvious. Having your mind “elsewhere” tends to make us lose our concentration on what we’re currently doing. We’ll do this at home, at work, during meals and quite often, even while driving. We’ve heard so much about distracted driving over the past few years that you would think we’re getting better, right? Wrong.
Texting, emailing and cell phone talking drivers have been ignoring government legislation since using a hand held device has been law and for years before it became a law. We all see drivers using these devices when we’re in our vehicles or just walking down the street, but they seem to be able to spot the police cars and at least put them down for those few seconds until the police car passes them. What if the police officers snuck up on these drivers? What if they didn’t even look like police officers? I’m sure many drivers would be caught doing the “nasty” with their cell phone then, right?
Well, recently a local police force did just that. They dressed as homeless people and walked among drivers stopped at traffic lights and gave out tickets to unsuspecting motorists who either were holding or using a hand held device or didn’t have their seatbelt on. Pretty sneaky, huh? Maybe, but it was very effective. Over 300 tickets were handed out over a four day blitz. Now, if you think that was sneaky, what about the second day of that blitz when a fully uniformed police officer stood out among the drivers and gave out more than 50% of the tickets the under covered police officers gave out.
How could the uniformed officer give out so many tickets during one day? The drivers were too distracted and never noticed him. How could you not notice a fully uniformed police officer standing at the side of the road or walking between vehicles? The same way you wouldn’t notice a small child, a cyclist, a red traffic light, a stop sign, a stopped vehicle or a fully grown pedestrian walking across the street; you’re distracted.
This police force gave out over 30% more tickets this year during the same timeframe as they did last year. What hasn’t the public realized yet about distracted driving? Do they want to run over someone before the message hits home? Do they want to injure or kill someone before they realize it’s just wrong? I would be interested in knowing of those who were ticketed if they had passengers with them who could have done the texting or cell phone calling. And what was so important that the call or text hand to be done at that very moment?
It’s time to take a reality check. It’s not about the $155 ticket, or more where you’re from. It’s about staying focused on the driving task while you’re driving. It’s about how you can influence other people and their families, plus your own family just by wanting to make that call or text while driving. Put the phone away, on silent or turn it off while driving. Keep your mind on driving. It’s already difficult enough to do without taking your mind away for those few seconds.
I’m sure you would feel the same way if another driver did that and injured or killed a friend or family member of yours.