Monday, 6 December 2010

Meldrew Monday

In a new and occasional series of Monday morning moans I'm going to start with something of an obsession: using your mobile phone while driving. In fact not merely using it, but texting on it. And not merely driving (in a car, say) but leaning with your elbows on the steering wheel of an enormous HGV while both thumbs tap out a message on your mobile phone. I've seen it, all too often. Once, I was traveling by coach and therefore at the cab height. Horrendous. Frightening. Appalling. I recently drove back from school and counted seven lorry drivers on their 'phones. And then on Saturday, in freezing fog and the remains of all that snow, we took the Santa express to Peterborough on the Nene Valley Railway. But not before passing 'thumb man' on his mobile. Shocked? I suppose we were, but not surprised. Not any more.

What I don't get is why so-called professional drivers should risk their livelihoods (not to mention the safety of other road users as well as their own freedom should they cause an accident and thereafter be convicted) when the cost of a hands-free kit is so small. And I know what you're going to say: I should be looking at the road. And I am. But a large part of it consists of several tons of metal coming in the opposite direction while under the so-called control of a texting lorry driver.

Car drivers are as bad, I'm certain. But my eyes are magnetically, hypnotically and irresistibly drawn to the horrifying spectacle of the loony in the lorry. I was taught to drive (many moons ago) by an army instructor who was big on watching and second-guessing the intentions of other road users. And it's never left me. And neither do the images of carnage when my imagination takes over.

I simply don't believe it. I DO NOT BELIEVE IT!

So there's my Monday moan. Am I on my own? I doubt it. So come on, get it off your chest. Let's have a moan together, and then maybe we'll all feel better.

Your turn...
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