Many motorists are mental midgets



“Having a license doesn’t make you a safe driver, any more than having a lottery ticket makes you a millionaire.” — Anon.

T E X T I N G  –  A  D A N G E R O U S  P A S T I M E

Last Thursday morning a few minutes after 10 a.m. I was driving along 178th street heading north on my way to do some grocery shopping. The number of vehicles on the road at that time was minimal and the traffic lights were all going my way. I was in the far right lane at the time.

As I was approaching a traffic light around the 90th Avenue intersection the light changed to a red signal. This is a three lane street . Two vehicles shared the road with me at that time : a white truck to my immediate left heading north and a car in the turning lane heading towards West Edmonton Mall. Both vehicles were stopped at the light and I followed suit.

The light changed to green and as I prepared to move forward I noticed that the two vehicles beside me were not moving. I wondered what was happening and so I inch wormed my way forward looking to my left. Neither vehicle budged an inch.

I craned my neck a little and tried to catch a view of the driver in the vehicle beside me. It was a male, about 50 years old and I noticed he was leaning forward in the driver’s seat. He was not physically moving as far as I could determine..

I tried to catch a glimpse of the driver in the vehicle to his left but that was impossible from my own position. I wondered if the driver in the truck was suffering a stroke or some other medical issue but was unable to make an educated guess.

Suddenly when the light turned yellow he made a dash to  cross the road. I did the same and noticed that once he made the light he crawled like a turtle for a few hundred feet. The vehicle to his left made a hurried left turn and sped away from the scene.

As I drove past him I noticed that he was not ill rather engaged in a heavy bout of texting on his cell phone on this quiet roadway. Luckily for him the opposing traffic was non existent and there were no police cruisers in the area.

If I was truly a good Samaritan I would have called 9-1-1 and given his licence plat number and a description of his vehicle. But, not wanting to be considered an idiot myself and my vision not being really that good,  I continued on my way to the grocery store.

Since both drivers sped away at the same time I wondered if they were friends or neighbors texting one another and maintaining their one vehicle distance from one another. I realize that sounds absurd but these are unusual times and people will take unusual risks to communicate with others.

During this time of social isolation we should all take extra care when driving and not jeopardize our own lives or the lives of other by trying to connect with friends, love ones or associates who are safe at home.

COVID 19 is a killer that we cannot control at the moment. Reckless driving and endangerment to others is an action that all drivers should be engaged in doing. 

Accidents can be avoided if we all use our heads, stay calm and be awarae that our actions have an impact on others.

Be aware. Be safe. Be careful out there.

Happy Easter one and all. 


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