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Common Courtesy Should Be Common Practice

When You're Not Driving...

Common Courtesy Should Be Common Practice
Posted March 17 2008 10:07 AM by Edward A. Sanchez 
Filed under: Opinions, Trend Observations

Pedestrian Yield Sign

Pardon me while I step up onto my soapbox for a bit. I have a multitude of pet peeves, probably far more than you care to hear about, but I feel this one's worthy of mention.

My drive into work this morning began with a white Corolla insistently nudging up against my tail in the right lane. I was more than keeping up with the flow of traffic, and saw no reason for Mr. Inconsiderate to be driving up into my tailpipe. A few strategic jabs of the brake pedal got his attention, and finally Road Donkey decided to go around me.

I decided to get my daily dose of Peet's at the neighborhood store, and upon exiting the establishment, coffee in hand, I attempted to cross at a clearly-marked crosswalk. A woman in a blue Grand Cherokee (on her cell phone, of course) was fully stopped, though somewhat over the line. I was about halfway across the crosswalk, when she started to move forward, and finally turned her head (cellphone still firmly attached to head) and stopped within inches of my right foot. I gave her a mild stink-eye and shook my head.

On the way out of the shopping center, a gentleman was about to cross in front of me to walk across the parking lot. Not wanting to be the hypocrite I so gleefully castigate, I stopped and gestured for him to cross. I'm not trying to come across as some self-righteous, Prius-driving, nanny-state boob. It's just that if people would pull their heads out of their as....ahem....their cell phones away from their heads, they might notice they're not the only individuals in the universe.

I enjoy a few good full-throttle runs through the gears as much as anyone, but there's a time and a place for everything, and during the congested morning commute is not one of them. Secondly, you cannot possibly tell me the millions of cell phone minutes used up while on the road are necessarily of critical, life-altering importance. Most likely girlfriend chit-chat, or middle managers feigning importance about their role at work.

Look people, buy a Bluetooth headset or hands-free device. Soon enough, Johnny Law will be issuing citations in the Golden State for hand-held phones while driving, and although I'm no fan of the nanny-state, enforcement of this ruling cannot come soon enough in my opinion. The default position for your hands in the car should be at 9 and 3, not soy-decaf latte and RAZR. 

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