I yelled at my teenage daughter. And I am not sorry.
She'd borrowed the car to run some errands a few months ago then swung by to pick me up from work. I slid into the passenger seat all smiles. Then I saw she balanced a cell phone on her lap and was texting.
Why in the world would she think she could drive and text at the same time? It was legal back then but the act was so obviously dangerous I'd never even thought to caution her against it any more than I would suggest she avoid styling her hair with the blender or reconsider manicuring her nails with a chainsaw.
A new Oregon law now forbids the use of hand held cell phones while driving. (It's still legal to talk using a headset while driiving.) Quite frankly, it's not enough. I'm not suggesting we toss offenders in jail, raise fines or even issue more citations. It's time to raise awarness.
I often find myself grateful to -- and in awe of -- the women who lost children in car accidents and poured their pain and grief into Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Their campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of driving while intoxicated have probably saved more lives than all the DWI laws. A good conscience is more effective than the best cop.
Oprah recently aired a show on the dangers of texting while driving featuring sad personal stories and tearful regrets. Experts declared driving while texting considerably more dangerous than driving while drunk. I'm hopeful the messiah of daytime talk shows will have impact.
Unfortunately, the people who most need to hear the message may be too busy texting their own.