Let’s all report drivers who text

They’re everywhere. Behind you. Next to you. In front of you. You can see their heads as they bob up and down.

Up for a moment, back toward their lap.

Up down. Up down.

In rush hour traffic they’re the ones who get caught off guard when it’s time to start moving again. Or who slam on their brakes at the last second with a startled look on their faces as they buggily turn right and left to see if anyone else noticed that their near accident was due to texting while driving.  But of course no one else did because they were texting, too. Statistics waiting to happen.

I admit it. I was once an on-the-road-texter. But as I started to notice out my rear view mirror that drivers behind me had no idea how close they were to the back end of my car – it’s hard to notice stuff like that when your eyes are pointed at your crotch, which is where most people seem to keep their phones despite research suggesting that’s not such a good idea —  I realized that it might be wise to pay better attention myself. Just in case I have to swerve out of the way, accelerate to avoid someone driving into my trunk, or worse, dodge a drifting lane invader.

So I stopped.

But now that I have one less distraction while driving I can’t help but notice that I’m the only person not texting while driving.

At least in Boston.

Given we’re a city known for insane drivers and risk-taking pedestrians this has me concerned.  The police do nothing. Unless of course a texting driver kills a pedestrian or takes out a fellow motorist. And while I don’t want to sound like one of those reformed smokers who feels compelled to lecture those still practicing, I am thinking that maybe I’ll start calling out people who text and drive. See if it becomes a movement or starts a new behavior.

It’s not hard, and it’s comparatively safe.  I simply turn on my voice recorder before I start to drive and as I see road texters behind me or in front of me I record their license plate along with car make and model into the recorder.

For example, here are couple from this morning.  The guy in the white Subaru, Massachusetts plate 74ES19, must have been 65 or 70, white-haired, texting away as if he were a teenage girl. Not your stereotypical texter at all. The women in the blue/gray Acura, Massachusetts 96VW17, appeared to be a professional worker on her way into the city. Both of them nearly hit other cars, but miraculously managed to avoid any impact. No way I am buying new car as long as I drive in and out of Boston.

Anyway, if you’re interested in outing texters on the road, let me know. We could put up a website and upload license plates of texting drivers.

Then again, some of our anti-texting community might get carried away. Start snapping actual photos. Putting them on Instagram or Facebook.  Perhaps even doing so while they, too, are driving.

It would be sadly ironic if an anti-texting citizen watchdog got into an accident while photographing the texting driver.

Screw it. Maybe I’ll just get Hummer.

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