I am so dismayed by the latest motorcyclist death in Calgary this past Saturday night. The fellow was at waiting at a stop light when rear ended by an SUV. The SUV driver panicked and due to the panic, ran the fellow over. With alcohol and drugs ruled out, a distraction would appear to be the cause.
Also on Saturday, I checked my rear view mirror and I saw three motorcyclists. One was stunting with an apparent motive to show off to his friends. We all pull in to a Tim Hortons and little do they know I’m behind them in line. Upon over hearing their reference to the stunt, I remind them about responsible behaviour on their bikes. Sheepishly they concurred.
Then on Sunday I’m pulling out of a mall and there’s a skateboarder with her ear buds in and cell phone in hand wheeling through our intersection. I’m thinking, you should have your complete wits about you especially considering that those church goers down the street were just dismissed from mass.
Then there are the oblivious pedestrians that I witness every day transfixed in their cell phone alter ego without any regard to space and time. They’ll walk down the middle of an aisle at the store and they’ll look down and up and down and up while waiting at a stop light. They’ll ignore their friend / lover / wife / husband while dining because of their cell phone fetish.
Our governments are weak on the subject when it comes to distracted driving and fear imposing any real penalty due to the perceived challenges inflicted by an even weaker legal system. The topic is addressed nonchalantly and everyone knows it’s a big issue but it receives only token attention. Your governments believe that an ad campaign is in your best interest instead of a meaningful financial deterrent. I beg to differ.
When nobody was tethered to a phone, we needed to be organized when going to the store instead of calling home to learn if there were eggs in the fridge. We trusted that children in the care of a sitter or school would be safe without a compulsion to “check in”. We got our work done when at work so that our leisure time was our own. Employers respected family time. We could count on an engagement to be kept with directions and destination agreed and planned in advance without last minute texting of confirmation and detail. We participated in the spontaneity of a moment unfastened from technology and free to engage wholeheartedly in a spirit for adventure and newness.