a safe-driving initiative focused on drive-time radio

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Some Things Are Still Not Okay

2013 flew away with some high and low points for us all.  Now we get an “official” fresh start to do things differently.  I usually write a very long list of goals, not necessarily resolutions but certainly intentions. I start thinking about my list around Christmas and make it formal by writing them on paper sometime before Valentine’s Day.  The list is long.  I like my list.  But, I don’t fret if everything isn’t accomplished.  Some things that are important in December don’t seem as important in February or March or the summer or even as autumn rolls around and the process starts all over again.

But because I’m interested, no, check that, because I’m passionate about safe driving and creating safer roads for all to share, goals for The Road Sage are always near the top of the list.  Nothing would please me more than for every American to drive thoughtfully, responsibly, and considerately every time they take the wheel.

As I write this, DUIs are higher in my community than they were last year.  Texting is increasing all over the nation.  Incidents of road rage appear in the news with greater frequency and less shock.

While behavior, mores, and trends change year to year some things are still not okay in 2014.

It is STILL not okay to text and drive.  It is a dangerous activity that is a bit like playing Russian roulette not only with your life but all the other souls with whom you share the road.

It is STILL not okay to read while you are driving; this means emails, texts, not even the great American novel.  What a preposterous idea!  How did we get to this place where reading tiny print on a small hand-held device is so common and acceptable?!  The great thing about email and text – it’s there.  FOREVER!  It will not vanish into thin air.  So, be patient and read later.

It is STILL not okay to drink under the influence of alcohol.  Drinking drivers are just weird and uncool.  What other dangerous, high-precision work might they consider after tossing back a few?  Welding?  Knife throwing? Drinking and driving was Never EVER okay?  Call a cab.  Or a non-drinking friend.

It is STILL not okay to bully people in another car.  The relative isolation we feel while we are alone in our vehicles somehow allows many of us to engage in aggressive conduct that would humiliate us if we saw ourselves on camera.  Losing your temper when you’re driving is not bright.  Retaliating is equally not bright.  Take a deep breath and pull away from danger.

Drinking is not an issue for me.  I’m a lightweight and don’t consume much at all.  And I rarely lose my temper behind the wheel.  I do have a cell phone, though.  But…the gadget is not my boss.  I can listen to a phone ring and decide not to pick it up. I know a lot of people who would have to be sedated to pull that off.   If that’s you, consider silencing your phone, text and email while you’re in the car.

Maybe that could be one of your goals in 2014.  Make it an early goal.  Like, today.