In Focus: It is time for distracted drivers to finally see the light
Dear distracted driver:
You don't know me, but you passed me on Route 65 over the weekend.
I watched you from afar, your minivan sometimes straddling the line separating the southbound lanes while going well over the speed limit. I estimate that you were driving at least double the limit.
I caught up with you at a red light, and, when the light turned green, saw you cross the double yellow lines into oncoming traffic before quickly swerving back into your own lane.
As I passed you, you didn't even look up from your phone as you came into my lane and nearly sideswiped my car.
Distracted driver, did you know that, according to government statistics, more than 3,300 people in the United States were killed in crashes that involved a distracted driver in 2011?
The government defines a distracted driver as someone who is eating or drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, adjusting a radio, texting or using a cellphone in any capacity.
In other words, you.
Do you even care that by texting or surfing the Internet, whichever you were doing while driving, you not only put yourself at risk, but everyone else sharing the road with you?
In an effort to get people like you to think twice before picking up your smartphone while driving, Pennsylvania banned texting while driving last March. If a police officer sees you fiddling with your phone, you can be pulled over. The fine is $50.
Maybe you didn't know that.
Distracted driver, I don't claim to be the most perfect driver in the world. I've texted while driving before, too.
But I've stopped.
I've learned that nothing is that important that it can't wait until my vehicle is stopped.
I hope you'll learn, too.
Kristina Serafini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1405 or email@example.com
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.