Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I just read the letter by David Smith. His letter prompts me to write not in response but to share something I have wanted to write for some time that is in addition to his comments. I agree with all that David stated in his letter.
Daily I drive Highway 99 between Yosemite Avenue in Manteca and Highway 4, the Crosstown Freeway, in Stockton. One day when it was not raining, sitting a bit higher in my SUV than some vehicles, I counted seven people holding phones down near their laps, I would imagine texting. I don’t drive looking into other vehicles as it would be too dangerous. We were in a stop and go situation when I counted the other day.
That was bad enough. However, on Thursday of last week my son was with me and there was an 18-whel big rig just ahead of us in the slow lane and I noticed the truck was veering off onto the shoulder and then back onto the road. As we passed it (quickly I might add) my son said, “Oh the guy is holding his phone in his hand while he drives.”
When will it sink into people’s heads that the machine they are in control of is nothing short of a projectile that is capable of doing far more damage than a bullet? Many lives can be taken in a split second when a driver is not paying attention to the road ahead and around them. Our truck was totaled last year in Stockton while both my wife and I were in it and it happened in a split second, we hardly saw the other vehicle coming. We were not at fault; however it sure let us know how quickly accidents happen.
Highway 120 eastbound between Main Street and Highway 99 is terrible. It never ceases to amaze me that if you are on that stretch of road at evening commute time, there are always cars speeding by in the fast lane and cutting in just in time to go south on Highway 99. Do these people not know the statistics; do they not read the newspapers or see the TV? Anyone who lives in this part of the valley I would think would be familiar with what a death trap that area is yet some continue to dart and zip around with no regard for other lives. They can cause fatal accidents (and never know it) just by their poor driving practices. I would hope that one day auto manufacturers will install some kind of device that would not allow a cell phone to operate as long as a car’s engine is running.
That is enough of a rant from me. I guess I must admit I am often times frightened by what is going on around me on our roads and highways.
As David Smith says, “Save a life, slow down” and I add, “Put down the phones”.