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Opinion

Phones distract drivers

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October 29, 2009

RIVER FALLS, Wis.—A man who wishes to remain anonymous became “irked” when he was cut off by another driver this past Thursday evening. The incident occurred just after 9 in the evening on the stretch of 35 just before the Main Street exit. The man, say Miles, was making his way home from a late night of work at his Hudson-based job, where he claimed he was putting in overtime, when he singled to move from the fast lane into the right lane in order to pull off what he referred to as “the old switcheroo.”

“My wife says my changing lanes so smoothly at sixty-five miles an hour is what turns her on the most,” Miles said before finishing the sentence with a crude, sexual connotation.

As Miles veered his Saturn into the right lane, a second driver – the vehicle a baby-crap colored PT Cruiser – swerved in front of Miles. Miles was forced to continue past the Main Street Exit an extra two miles until he turned at the intersection with Cascade Avenue.

Miles noted the other driver, concealed by the darkness, was toting a glowing box that he or she held against their ear.

“It was horrible,” Miles said. “It was unreal and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before – and it made me think about how inconsiderate some people are.” Miles was rushed to the nearby medical clinic for
wounds to his feelings and self-esteem.

“A lot of cell phone-less drivers feel unwanted and useless when they see other, more talented drivers performing this multi-tasking while on the road. It’s pretty demoralizing,” says Crystal Johnston of the

Psychologists for A Better World, an expert in the line of driving while calling.

Investigators arrived at the scene of the crime just after three in the morning, and the lack of quick response time was blamed on the local RFPD’s claim that one of its own was celebrating a birthday.

“We couldn’t just up and leave the station,” said Officer Bryan Schiller, a three-year veteran of the RFPD. “Old Officer David Smiths only turns fifty once,” he finished.

Once at the scene, detectives were bewildered at the lack of physical evidence. No trace could be found, probably due to the lack of light coming in around four in the morning when local law enforcement broke out their special, sciency gear.

FBI agents soon found their way to the cold stretch of 35 and attempted to trace all phone calls made the previous night, but after two or three minutes of fishing around with their own tracking technology, a blue screen of death killed their equipment, rendering the Federal Bureau of Investigation useless and with no leads.   

Meanwhile, Miles found little comfort in his home. With a screaming wife and upset children, Miles was coping with the horrific encounter.

“I just don’t understand where people get the…audacity and arrogance to do such a thing,” he said. “But I’m getting over it I think.”

Serial “Drexters,” have been spotted all over the United States since the mid-1990’s when cell phones are believed to have come into existence. The term “Drexter” refers to individuals who both operate their motor vehicles and text, or converse as if all a single action.

“Make no mistake. These perpetrators of injustice, arrogance, and a complete lack of self other awareness, will be brought to justice, held above a lawful court, and placed before a firing squad upon his or her apprehension,” Dwayne Matheson, the Minnesota district attorney who also leads the Prevention of Jackass Behavior Coalition.

Miles resides in River Falls with his family. He copes with his suspicious wife and frightened little twin girls.

Authorities urge citizens to dial 911 if he or she runs into anyone not doing anything other than driving when operating a motor vehicle.

Brad Brookins is a graduate of UW-River Falls.