Bring back drivers ed to help end road hazards
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I thought the "Next Page" article "Texting While Driving: Not the Problem" (June 17) was logical and well thought out until the last two paragraphs, in which James Hilston states that when drivers "cut [him] off in traffic, drive too slowly in the passing lane, change lanes without looking or slam on their brakes" he should stop complaining and "mind [his] own business if others want to type messages on their cell phones while driving."
No, Mr. Hilston, it is not OK to do any of those things when driving. Never! Spare me the "live and let live" attitude. It could cost you your life someday, and you could kill somebody. There is no excuse for distracted driving. You need to reread your paragraph about the 19-year-old driver who caused the death of two people and injured 38 others because of texting. Stupidity costs precious lives.
My driving instructors -- and my dad -- always emphasized that when you're driving, the only thing you should be doing is driving -- and paying attention to road signs, traffic around you, bicyclists, jaywalkers, running deer, falling tree branches (as happened to me) and other potential accident-causing factors. So what if the statistics show accident rates holding steady? My traffic engineer son points out that the decrease in traffic fatalities is also the result of safer cars and roads (as, for example, antilock brakes and the rumble strips Mr. Hilston mentions).
A long time ago high schools stopped teaching drivers education classes because of the expense, leaving the training of young drivers to parents or other nonprofessionals, who can pass their bad driving habits on to teen drivers. With the advent of computer labs and computer driving instruction programs, it's way past time to bring drivers ed classes back to schools.
Finally, I take issue with the sexist illustration that accompanies the article. Ladies do put makeup on when driving, but that wasn't listed as one of the top 10 pet peeves of drivers. A more appropriate gender-neutral illustration should have been used.
First Published June 25, 2012 12:00 am