You Are Talking And Driving Badly, Chicago

I’ve been reading a lot of these stories lately in which pedestrians, bikers and other drivers are injured or killed by drivers who are talking on their phones. I don’t know if this is just a media trend (much like shark attacks or myspace mishaps) but from my experience as a pedestrian, biker, and driver, I have to say that yes, it is true, people drive like shit whilst talking on the phone, and I wish they would stop. As a stick-shift driver, the only way I even consider talking on the phone in the car is to use the earpiece, and even that is distracting. It seems the only way the law is being enforced is through hindsight, after an accident, so I don’t hold out much hope for any effectiveness there, but all I can say is Pay Attention! Contrary to what you may think, you are not good at talking and driving at the same time. Yes, you. And you too. And especially you!

9 Comments so far

  1. jack (unregistered) on October 9th, 2006 @ 4:58 pm

    Since it is actually against the law these days to talk on the phone and drive I think the police should set up a system for catching these people. We all know the cops have important things to do other than standing on the corner stopping people for talking/driving. However, as I walk down the street and almost get hit by these people I have the time to take my trusty cell phone, now equiped with a camera and snap a quick picture. How about a system where people can take a picture of the person driving and then their license plate and send it to the police who can then mail a hefty fine to the jackass breaking the law. Why have laws if they are not enforced.

  2. Irene (unregistered) on October 9th, 2006 @ 7:29 pm

    As someone who received a ticket for being on my cell phone – mind you it was off and I WAS IN A PARKING SPACE! – I feel compelled to comment. I agree that people drive like shit whilst on a cell phone and the police should ticket those on a cell phone while driving.

    That being said, I was shocked when I was running and was almost hit by a CYCLIST WHO WAS ON THE PHONE with no handsfree device! I think that if you are in moving vehicle (bicycle, motorcycle, car, skateboard, etc.) you should not be on the phone!

  3. Danny Doom (unregistered) on October 9th, 2006 @ 10:30 pm

    That is ridiculous that you got a ticket for that and that’s why the cell phone law is something I have little faith in. I don’t know about the picture-taking though, Jack, that’s probably a pretty maddening way to get a ticket as well. I’m not really advocating tickets or enforcement, I just want people to pay more attention. I guess you can call it “personal responsibility.”

  4. steven (unregistered) on October 10th, 2006 @ 9:07 am

    This sort of thing was happening way before cell phones and camera phones. People would (and still do) eat, apply makeup, read, etc while driving. Anything that distracts you from guiding a multi-ton piece of machinery down the street alongside other multi-ton pieces of machinery is dangerous.

  5. bassoholic (unregistered) on October 10th, 2006 @ 9:29 am

    I totally agree here. Cells phones are a huge distraction and have been shown to signicficantly increase the chances of causing an accident. As for enforcement by police, probably not gonna happen on a large scale here in Chicago. Especially since I’ve already seen 3 cops talking on cell phones while cruzin’ down the street!

  6. quack (unregistered) on October 10th, 2006 @ 11:09 am

    The answer isn’t to target specific stupid habits- its to make it WAY harder to get and keep a drivers’ license, and to better fund public trans as an alternative to single-occupancy driving.

    It’s not that people drive badly when talking on their cells, people just drive badly, period.

  7. Danny Doom (unregistered) on October 10th, 2006 @ 12:47 pm

    I agree that people drive badly anyway but there’s something about holding up a phone to the left side of your face while making a turn with your other hand that makes it incomparably worse. Especially if you happen to be crossing the street in front of a face that has a phone in one hand while driving a multi-ton piece of machinery. Go out and stand on a corner, you’ll see it, it won’t take long.

  8. Edmund Dwelshbag (unregistered) on October 10th, 2006 @ 3:20 pm

    I AM good at drivin and talkin but everybody else sucks (ass).

  9. GEORGE (unregistered) on October 25th, 2006 @ 11:29 am

    its amazing how we all complain but also do it as well you know who you are!! the only way to stop it is to bann them or leave you cell at home like the good ‘ol days when we didnt have cell phones but still had bad drivers….

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