July 29th, 2010
Was it a: (1) Pontiac GTO (2) Ford Gran Torino (3) Dodge Charger (4) Chevy Camaro
When did paying attention become an afterthought on today’s highways?
Is it the way we are taught in today’s society? Is it that our electronic devices or our outward appearance or the printed document are so much more important that being attentive while we maneuver our 3,000 pound unguided missile down the street is relegated to fourth, fifth or sixth in our thought list?
My God! Are we so full of ourselves that we can text on a cell phone, adjust the volume on the radio, insert another CD-Rom in the player stack, reread the paragraph in an article that captured our attention at morning coffee and stuff the last remnants of a sweet roll in our maw all the while making damn sure that nothing got on our clothes in the process, and doing all of this while trying NOT to kill someone?
Is our small and petty personal life problems more important than the guy trying to turn left into a parking lot that we DO NOT see?
I am astounded each and everyday by every type of person imaginable and how they perceive the amount of attention they think is required to drive four wheels at 65 MPH… and these idiots are doing it RIGHT NEXT TO ME!
That’s it… I am making sure I have a ton of life insurance, updating my last will and testament, contacting the Neptune Society and booking an open slot at my local church, because if I have to drive one more day with the brainless idiots I happen to share the freeway with, I may not make it. No wonder folks are moving to the country! But even there you have moron’s who can’t figure out which side of a four lane highway they should meander down the road on.
I am damn serious. It’s become an epidemic, and, as of right now, there is no cure.
The U. S. Department of Transportation has made a projection that by the year 2012, less than a year away, over 68% of the non-fatal accidents that occur on the nations highways will have occurred because of driver distraction (which is a real nice way of saying that the dimwit who caused the accident was texting, talking on a cell phone, eating a Big Mac AND drinking a cola while driving with his/her knees or fiddling with the radio in one form or another). The list of driver related distractions could number in the thousands!
These are non-fatal accidents. Would you like to guess what the percentage of accidents that occur due to inattention which result in a fatality is? How about all of them!
To hell with that… let’s look at all this one other way. The USDOT has also stated that the possibility of you being involved in an inattentive driver’s accident over the next five years is… wait for it… 92%. The USDOT does not make a distinction if the driver who is responsible for the inattentive accident is you or someone else. I wonder why?
So… I guess I am going to get into an ID (Inattentive Driver) accident. I may loose my life because of this ID accident. There is nothing I can do about this ID accident, is there? And law enforcement is going to issue $25 tickets for talking on a cell phone and look the other way when Mr. Business Suit eats his bowl of Cheerios and drives with his… uh… knees? At least I hope he’s driving with his knees.
As epidemics go, this one is curable. It won’t take much to implement the cure and the cure can have an effect immediately. The cure is harsh, but it is fair. It’s also something that you may not agree with me on, but it has to be done. While painful in it’s dosage, it will preclude it from ever happening again. All it takes is one elected official who has the intestinal fortitude to stand up for the rights of the living and he/she has to realize that his/her family may be saved by just such a cure.
Here it is… a new law for the rule books!
“In the event it is proven, either by observance by an officer of the law, or by contraindications of an accident, that a driver responsible for the unsafe operation of a motor vehicle who was not paying full attention while driving, shall loose his/her rights to drive for a period of five (5) years and regardless of who is the registered or legal owner, will forfeit, along with any perceived value to the DOT/DMV in the states jurisdiction, the vehicle involved in the violation. Anyone convicted of this violation will be fined no less than $12,000 per infraction and/or serve one year in jail.”
I am slowly leaning towards a zero tolerance for inattentive driving and/or driving under the influence. About the only way I can see to remove the possibility of someone who wants to take my life with his/her vehicle due to their irresponsible behaviour is to remove the vehicle from the equation because it’s painfully obvious that prevention system in place right now, isn’t keeping the epidemic at bay.
Besides, Starky and Hutch’s Ford Gran Torino being forfeit to the State because the current owner was doing her nails on I-10 just might help out in this fiscal crisis, doncha think? And those who said that all I ever do is bitch about the problem and yet I never offer an alternative or a solution… CAN GO POUND SAND!