Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Have you ever texted inappropriately? Here’s a call to put down your fingers when in the car. I am a vigilante on this issue and am taking it to the streets. On a recent road trip, inching along the highway, the guy next to me was typing on his phone WHILE DRIVING. The other day in DC, a teenager had her left leg up under her bum and was typing a note WHILE DRIVING. I held up my homemade sign on each occasion -– "QUIT TEXTING."

July is "Cell Phone Courtesy Month." It was designated by Jacqueline Whitmore, author of Business Class and “authority on business etiquette and protocol.” She cites a few rules I love: "focus on driving", “avoid cell yell” and “learn to vibe.” http://www.etiquetteexpert.com/cellphone.html.

Some people seem to have lost their manners when it comes to using the cell phone. We were in the backyard yesterday and there was a lot of scwalking coming from a yard a few houses over. My son asked me, “What in the world is all that noise?” I looked over and realized that there was a pool man holding a cell phone with the call on speaker. It was disturbing our swingset screaming! Juxtapose that to my friend who before she popped inside said, “Excuse me, I have to make a call to a doctor. I’ll be inside in a few minutes.”

Using the phone inappropriately is not only annoying, it is downright dangerous. One in five drivers text even though they know it is wrong, according to AAA. That is frightening! A recent report by VA Tech shows that texting while driving, TWD, it is as dangerous as drunk driving. For more information on the VA Tech Institute driving study, go to http://www.vtti.vt.edu/whats-new.html#driving-distraction.

It is against the law to DWT in 14 states and the District. The cops are pulling people over and the fines range from $500 in Maryland for writing, sending or reading a text to being convicted of a 3rd degree felony if there is an accident that causes bodily injury or death in California. After seeing the Texas bus driver crash on the highway and the reports of the CA train collision that killed 25 people, it convinced me to keep my phone in my purse while I’m behind the wheel (unless I use my headset).

Walking while texting is also a problem. A recent study in England indicates that 1 in 8 people has been bruised, fractured or cut while walking and texting. I bumped into a pedestrian the other day on the way out of a movie while checking my email. People are so distracted on the streets in London, street lights and sign posts are padded to prevent injury. Check out the video on You Tube. >>>

One final request on the use of cell phones. I ask you to consider a most important rule: Love the one you’re with. It is just plain rude to talk on the phone while at dinner, or out for drinks, or at the beach/pool, or on a date. Excuse yourself, make your call, and focus your attention on your people, at least for the rest of this month. Mawh, Mawh.