From Pine View Farm

It’s Not Just Teenagers 2


With momentum building in Washington for all 50 U.S. states to outlaw text messaging behind the wheel, there is evidence that the key demographic targeted by such legislation, teen drivers, will not pay much attention.

At least one major study has found that, with mobile devices now central to their lives, young people often ignore laws against using cell phones or texting in the car.

Not that teenagers don’t do stupid and dangerous things (I did, but I was smart enough not to get caught). So do grown-ups. We have a social tradition of thinking that each successive generation is going to hell, doing stuffus horribilus that we would have never done (except that we did).

None of the several cell-phone-using drivers who have nearly killed me have looked to be under 35.

Several weeks ago, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, I was coming down a major two-lane suburban street (Silverside Road, for the Wilmington locals) with ample shoulders descending a long hill towards the Delaware River. The big BMW ahead of me with a man driving and a woman riding was drifting erratically back and forth in the lane, though never actually crossing the lines, and going about 20 to 25 in a 40 where most persons go 50 because the hill is so long and they don’t pay attention anyway.

As we approached the stop light and BMW moved into the left turn lane and I into the right turn lane, I could see why.

The white-haired driver, almost as old as I (and I’m old), was having trouble balancing his crackberry on the top of the steering wheel so he could text with both hands.

(Come to think of it, the woman must not have been his wife. A wife would not have been sitting their quietly in the face of so much stupid.)

I say, if you can’t text with one hand, don’t text at all. Ever.



  1. Karen

    December 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    I won’t mention names, but when I’m in the veh & SOMEONE is just talking on the phone, I’m trying to grab it, because this person can’t talk & drive at the same time. Even though said person does it all the damn time, anyway.

    Drives me nuts. Literally AND figuratively. (If it’s spelled wrong, oh well.)

  2. Frank

    December 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Some people can’t drive and drive at the same time.