Distracted Driving Flourishing In Naperville

There was a survey a few years ago, and the question was, “What age is considered old?” The consensus was 15 years older than the age of the person responding. If the person was 20, then 35 was old. If the person was 55, then 70 was old. I asked my grandson how old is old? He asked me how old I was and I told him. He then added one year to my age and gave me that number as being old. Even at the tender age of 9 he was either being PC or sensitive. Politics might be in his future.

Maybe ‘distracted driving’ is a relative term. I remember when I was young and dirt was new, my mom would get upset with my dad when we were driving in the car and my dad had the radio on. She said he wouldn’t be able to hear an emergency vehicle. In the spirit of matrimonial harmony he would turn off the radio. That became my norm for distracted driving; even now when I turn the radio on, I do think of that, but the radio stays on.

I have a friend who gets upset with his 18 and 20-year old sons when they are texting or on the phone while driving. I remember years ago taking the boys with us to Friday night football games, and he was texting or on the phone. Now he wonders why they are doing it. That would go under the parenting chapters of double standards and role models.

My wife happened to be in the vicinity of Naperville Central High School when school was letting out, and she mentioned that just about everywhere she looked, kids were on their devices while driving. The next day I decided to position myself in my vehicle at corner of Porter and Webster as students where leaving the campus in their vehicles and do a visual survey of the first 50 vehicles that passed my location. Amazingly 37 drivers were busy looking down presumably on their devices. Most looked young enough to be students, but at my age, everyone looks young so there may have been some teachers and school officials in the slow moving conga line.

I decided to do advance my unscientific survey the following day by viewing 100 vehicles slowly flowing by at the corner of Hillside and Webster. This time 61 drivers were occupied with their all-important device. It’s possible that each of the 61 were as good of a driver as my dad was and I am while listening to the radio. A distraction is a distraction. What really surprised me that during the time it took 150 vehicles to pass by, not once did I see a police officer as a reminder that device distractions are unwise, unsafe, and illegal.

I know the police have their hands full; I get it. Maybe there was an officer there the days before and after I was there. I know check points are very effective against DUI’s, vehicle safety infractions, etc. I would think the same would apply for inappropriate device usage.

Maybe if my dad would have been pulled over for unwise radio usage while driving (URUWD), I might not be listening to the radio when I’m driving. No, I’d probably still be listening to the radio, especially when the Cubs are on.

Show 3 Comments


  1. Joe

    Hot just kid. Watched an adult driving her Range Rover down Dielh w a coffee cup in one hand an her phone in the other. I asked her if she was trying to kill someone.

  2. Bea Real Safe

    I don’t care if it makes me sound old. It has to STOP. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to instagooglefacetweet, and drive safely at the same time. I can’t count how many times I have avoided accidents with facetweeters or phone holding talkers because they were distracted and I was paying attention for both of us. Driverless cars aren’t here yet, so until then, people need to put the phone away and pay attention so they are in full control of the two ton rolling death mobile they are supposed to be in command of. Penalties should be equal to DUI, it seems just as dangerous to me. They get along just fine instagoogling, until they don’t. And then innocent people pay the price.

    • Grant W.

      It will be great when the self driving cars are upon us. The lawyers will be so busy.

      Put it down and drive.

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