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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Inconsiderate drivers ruin everything

This story came from Car Talk. One would believe that an ambulance with it's lights flashing would have a clear shot through traffic. But the driver thought that his conversation was way too important to let it through. This could have cost someone their life. I hope that conversation was extremely important.

Recently, my 11-year-old son had a very bad accident, shoving his arm through a pane of glass in a French door. In that accident, he severed arteries in his arm. You know all the stories about spurting blood? They are true.

I rode in the passenger seat of the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The driver was using lights and siren. The blood was flowing. The ambulance driver was forced to slow to about 30 (in a 45 mph zone) behind an a--hole with a cell phone in his ear. Apparently, his conversation was more important to him than my son's life. So here we are—son bleeding, me cussing, ambulance driver using lights, siren, and air horn. We followed this guy for probably a mile—the ambulance driver was afraid to pass him on the right, as it is a bike lane.

To top it all off, when the guy finally did pull over to let us by, he stuck out his arm and gave us the one-finger salute! Maybe it's not the cell phones at all; maybe the type of people who use cell phones are more likely to be in accidents solely because of who they are—what their personalities are like. I'll tell you this—if I ever see the guy again, I will physically, really, stick that phone of his "where the sun don't shine." Son (note other spelling) is recovering nicely.

Kevin McNelis

In most states and municipalities, it is illegal to block emergency vehicles. And to top it all off, he had the indecency to use an indecent hand gesture. In some countries, that alone would get you a fairly hefty fine.

People that do this ruin things for everyone.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Another driver who ( hopefully) learned his lesson

I saw this story on Car Talk. Luckily, besides totalling his vehicle, this guy only hurt his own pride. It just goes to show people that having a " wealth of stupidity" doesn't keep you out of trouble. It is amazing that nobody got killed in this incident. Here is the story.

Funny you should mention anti-talking-on-the-cell-phone-while driving. I could be your poster boy. The scene: I am driving home from Connecticut, where I worked, to Vermont, where I lived, on a Friday afternoon. I'm doing 80 on I-89, just north of Exit 3, Bethel.

It's about 4:45; I call my house in Vermont to get the messages off the answering machine. Lo and behold, one is from a realtor in New Fairfield, CT, where we were thinking of buying a home. So I get the number and start the tedious dialing process to make the call. I'm traveling, at 80 mph (cruise control—a wonderful invention) in the passing lane, dialing my Nokia cell phone, when I notice the car has drifted slightly to the left, so I jerk it back onto the road.

Ever hear of "confluence of events"? This particular stretch of I-89 has a rather narrow shoulder on the left, one that also drops rather precipitously. This confluence caused the car—a 1993 VW Passat—to flip toward the driver's side. As the car is about to go over, I'm thinking, Man! I'm gonna ruin the side. After that, I guess I lost my orientation, but I'm sure it made quite a sight for the folks behind me as I did two complete flips and landed—upright—in the spacious center median.

Fortunately the VW took the brunt of the impact, and I would have been able to walk away, had I been allowed. Instead, I got a nice ride in an ambulance to Gifford Medical Center, where my lack of injury and wealth of stupidity were confirmed.

Cell phones suck. Or, more accurately, people who use cell phones while driving a potentially lethal weapon suck. And I did. I plead guilty. Obviously, the car was totaled. And I like to think this red Passat got its vengeance on me when, on Monday, on my way back to my job in Connecticut, it allowed me to smack my head full force into the top of the car into which I was attempting to sit in order to remove the CD player. Ear swelled up like a cauliflower. Purple and red and black. Pretty colorful. And I thought I heard it say to me, through the ringing in my cauliflower ear, "You jerk! You did this to me!"

Les Szabo

Well Les, I think that the moral of this story is to keep your mind on the road. Too many people never learn this. And I see more people doing this. Because they are in their own cars, these people think that they can do whatever they want. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Some just have to learn the hard way. Even then the lesson sometimes is not learned.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

the use of cell phones to cheat

Recently, I found an aritcle at Cell Busters. The article concerns testing and the use of cell phones to cheat on tests. People who do this are costing schools and testing corporations money and are posing security risks. The article like this:

Read how cell phones are costing test developers and schools money and giving test candidates a very unfair advantage.

Cell phones equipped with cameras and even cell phones with texting are a deadly weapon when it comes to schools and testing centers. It now gives people inside a room taking an exam, access to the outside. Not only can they take pictures of the computer screen or exam sheet, they can also text someone on the outside to get the correct answers, receiving the answers with their cell phones on vibrate.

As Jason Templeton, principal of Hamilton High School put it, " Some of these kids have become so good at texting, they can do it in their pocket without looking at the phone".

John Staunton, from Ace Vision Testing centers says "We sometimes spend tens of thousands of dollars developing high level tests for our clients, someone taking pictures of the tests compromises the integrity of our testing centers. We may end up having to re-develop these tests at a huge expense".

Having a cell phone detector in exam halls and testing centers can alert the person overseeing the process to catch cheaters in the act.

Don't these people doing this have any idea the damage they are doing? Or do they only care about getting high scores on their tests? Some people just have no integrity.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Women with children can be the worst drivers

Today, I had an experience that confirms an opinion that I have held for a long time: young women with children can be some of the worst drivers around!

Today, I was riding my bike home from work. On this occasion, I stopped for a red light and waited for it to turn green. When it did, I started through the intersection when this blue sedan cruised though the light like it was not even there. Adding to the problem, there were even people in the crosswalk! I then caught up with her because traffic was stopped where I noticed a child seat in the back of her vehicle!

this makes me ask the question: where do all these teenagers pick up all their extremely poor driving habits? The answer is: they get their habits from what they learn from their parents!

Monday, August 01, 2005

The irratoinality of using a cell phone while driving a car

While reading from Drive Now, Chat Later, I came across this piece. It covers some of the most common, and at times irrational, objections to banning the use of cellphones while driving a car. Some might be logical, but most are looney and outlandish. It appears that some people are more interested in their so called "rights" than they are in keeping their minds on the road.

Here, I present common objections to banning cellphones while driving.

" Banning the use of hand held cell phones while driving is an infringement on my personal freedom"

" Talking on a cell phone is no more dangerous than putting on makeup, eating fast food, tuning a radio, or reading a map while driving. People need to use common sense, and we can't write laws that make that happen.

" There are already laws that punished careless and reckless drivers appropriately for reckless driving. We don't need another one specifically for cell phones"

" A law like this would not be enforceable"

" This law will be bad for business"

. " There isn't enough to prove that using a while driving causes accidents.">

Cellular telephones are important devices for reporting emergencies."

While the last one makes sense, the others sound quit a bit flaky. It is readily apparent that these people that make these statements do not know what they are really saying. They tend to run their mouths before they think about what they are saying.