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Letters to the Editor

Pay attention

August 19, 2008

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To the editor:

When did talking on a cell phone while driving become legal? Cell phone driving is equated to drunken driving because it is a huge distraction.

Talking while driving could be declared irresponsible driving. If my memory serves me well, there is an ordinance against irresponsible driving. Is this ordinance enforced?

Now, really, how important is any phone call that it cannot wait until one is parked? Haven't we all found ourselves fumbling around in our pockets, a purse or whatever to catch that phone call? Is that not a distraction or what?

Some cyclists also should consider not talking on cell phones until stopped as well.

Quite recently there was a bicycle-truck accident on Sixth Street. The cyclist was on the sidewalk pulling a child in a trailer. How in the world could a driver run over a cyclist on a sidewalk in plain sight? What could have been the distraction?

Are drivers simply not paying attention? On a Kansas Highway 10 marquee it says watch out for motorcycles. There are billboards stating the same thing. Apparently car and truck drivers are needing encouragement to pay attention.

There are more motorcycles, scooters, bicycles and pedestrians in the area now than ever due to high gasoline prices, people concerned about the environment and a variety of other reasons. All are subjected to traffic ordinances, but all of us paying attention is as important as any traffic ordinance.

Richard Heckler,
Lawrence

Comments

canyon_wren 6 years, 5 months ago

So where is Merrill, bowhunter? Cato--you brought up a good point. I don't live in Lawrence, but in a much smaller community which has lots of cyclists, and seeing all the little ones towed behind bicycles makes me extremely nervous, too. Some of the local riders DO display the orange flag on a post as BigPrune suggests, and that does help a little.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 5 months ago

Emily Hadley, I take it from your post that you believe that it's appropriate for bicyclists to tow 2-year old children in trailers not just on sidewalks near vehicular traffic, but on city streets as well. Am I correct?

cato_the_elder 6 years, 5 months ago

Richard, there is nothing as foolish as a bicyclist towing a 2-year old child in a trailer anywhere near motor vehicle traffic. Your stated concern that drivers do not pay attention as they should underscores it. Hopefully, the Kansas legislature next session will make it illegal to tow a 2-year old child behind a bicycle, just as it is illegal to transport a 2-year old child in an automobile without first securing the child in an approved child safety seat.

canyon_wren 6 years, 5 months ago

Bowhunter--are you saying that this letter writer IS Merrill? Guess I didn't know that. Pretty interesting.

John Hamm 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm seeing the constant use of the word "driver." Let's be real honest there are few drivers on the road today. They are "riders" nestled in their 4000 pound steel cocoons, reading, eating, drinking, telephoning, primping while watching DVDs on the flip up screen auto-stereo home theater unit in the dash in glorious 5.1 surround while whistfully daydreaming of a happier simpler time.

Ragingbear 6 years, 5 months ago

We tried to make it illegal a few years ago. That flopped horribly.

BigPrune 6 years, 5 months ago

Why not pass a law that all bicyclists, motorcycles, and scooters display a large orange flag on a stick?Imagine the Slow Ride Roadhouse.

Baille 6 years, 5 months ago

Oh. Smells like someone is desperate for a little conflict.http://www.lookingforafight.com/

crane13 6 years, 5 months ago

can we all just go ahead and replace our frontal lobes with sim chips? i mean really, telling becky her butt isnt big and that her boyfriend carson slept with her best friend is wayyyyyyy more important than aiming the 6000 pound suburban mommy and daddy bought. watch out for those Johnson county plates

Emily Hadley 6 years, 5 months ago

Qtd comment below is evidence of the ignorance and arrogance that causes most auto accidents. If you can't see a bike with a brightly colored trailer and two human beings IN FRONT OF YOU when driving, you SHOULD NOT be driving. You are responsible for avoiding everything in front of you when driving, whether it is a 2 year old or a tree branch falling off of a moving truck.This:http://york.gumtree.com/posting_images/74/24282774121179395811-954ab082b8ce649308660c364a2180cd.big__.jpgis not hard to see on the road. It is MUCH more foolish to get into a huge steel machine with a combustion engine equal to 100s of horses and mow down everything in your path than to take your child out in a bicycle trailer specifically designed for kids.Alcohol, speed, or distractions such as children or phonecalls--doesn't matter-- if you can't control your vehicle, you aren't safe to have the PRIVILEGE of driving one."Richard, there is nothing as foolish as a bicyclist towing a 2-year old child in a trailer anywhere near motor vehicle traffic. Your stated concern that drivers do not pay attention as they should underscores it. Hopefully, the Kansas legislature next session will make it illegal to tow a 2-year old child behind a bicycle, just as it is illegal to transport a 2-year old child in an automobile without first securing the child in an approved child safety seat."

Darrell Lea 6 years, 5 months ago

"gl0ck0wnr (Anonymous) says:Richard Heckler = Merrill. You can thank him for all the expensive "traffic calming" devices in town.Dickie, I'd like to take this opportunity, on gl0ck0wnr's behalf, to personally thank you for all the expensive traffic calming devices in town. Anyone who pays attention to events in our city knows that traffic around here certainly needs calming, and I sure appreciate all that you do to keep things cool here in River City.Now, if there was only such a thing as a rhetoric-calming device...

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