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It is amazing as you drive along the road how many people are on the phone. It is not just that they are on the phone, but they are on the phone in circumstances that look very dangerous. Just today I watched three circumstances:

1. There was a line of traffic with an open turn lane down the right side. Suddenly, coming down the turn lane at a relatively high speed was an individual in a big truck talking away on the cell phone. At various points the line of traffic had separated to allow the individual to turn across it into open businesses. While the truck would have the right-of-way as cars came across, clearly they were far too deep into a conversation to be watching out and therefore nearly had a collision.

2. I came up on an unmarked police vehicle on the highway. Because it was the police, I slowed down and followed it for awhile and watched as the officer continuously checked his open laptop on the seat and seemed to have a very spirited conversation going on the cell phone. This was definitely a circumstance where the officer was out protecting the public, but how much of a distraction was the open laptop and the phone call he was having? When you throw in the cars that would come up on him and then slow down once they realized he was in uniform and there were too many antennas on top of the vehicle, there is an unsafe hazardous condition being created on the highway.

3. With the growth of roundabouts in the St. Cloud area, people seem to be getting a handle on them, however there is still that uncomfortable time when they are trying to figure out if they should yield or keep going. Up to one of the yield signs comes a woman on a cell phone who not only stopped beyond the yield sign, but caused  confusion in the cars behind her and in the cars that were going around the roundabout. It was one of those quick situations that come up where people would be a lot better off concentrating on what they are doing.

Maybe all three of these people were talking to each other. Whatever the case is, they were getting themselves distracted from the road. I go back to the intersection in downtown Minneapolis where I was able to see upwards of ten people on a cell phone in the vehicles around me and a bicycle going by. People are not driving when they are driving. Driving has to stop being the secondary thing on people’s minds to keep them and others safe on the road.

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