This week, I apologize... I am absolutely "Waving the Red Flag" as I stand very clearly on
Now, this is a "tricky" post, in that each week, as I publish these things, Donna usually sits right around the corner from me on her computer and reads my Blog. While I'm posting my "link" on various sites, I can usually get "a feel" for how I've done if she is laughing, a lot or a little, or is silent, if she is tearing up, etc. Fortunately, through 28 of these thus far, I have not heard, "Babe, what were you thinking?" Or, "You couldn't come up with anything else?" My point: Not so sure on this one. Which will drive me crazy. Just sayin'...
On Wednesday morning of this week, which just happened to be "12-12-12," I was at work, at Friendswood ISD Transportation (which is code for School Buses). Part of my job each day as Lead Driver is to help or ensure that the drivers' get going each morning on their routes. Although we are considered a small district, we do have 36 routes that go out every morning. That said, I had been out in the Bus Yard Wednesday and the last of the buses had just left on the morning runs as I walked back into the building. I entered through the back door to the driver lounge area and the TV was on Channel 26 News. As I walked in, there was a "Breaking News" story on involving a Waller ISD School Bus, Northwest of the Houston area.
As the story goes, this particular bus had stopped for its first pick up, 3 young students, at approximately 6:20am. While stopped and with its lights flashing and "stop sign arm" extended, a vehicle in the same lane failed to stop as it approached and "crashed" into the rear of the bus. According to the News Report, the driver of the vehicle was killed. Officers at the scene of the accident are quoted as saying, "There was no indication the driver (of the vehicle) braked before striking the rear of the bus." Another quote said, "There were no skid marks or any evidence the driver (of the vehicle) attempted to slow down or miss the bus." Channel 2 News reported that the driver (of the vehicle) appeared to be a male driver, between the age of 25 to 35.
|Picture is Courtesy of KRIV Channel 26 News|
|Picture is Courtesy of KRIV Channel 26 News|
I want to be very clear here... This accident is still under investigation and I do not know what caused the vehicle driver to crash into the rear of the school bus. Going out on a limb, he could have fallen asleep at the wheel, he may have been looking out his driver side window at the amazing and beautiful sunrise, he may have had some type of sudden medical condition. He may have been inebriated. Or, he may have been distracted... as in possibly doing something, maybe texting, with his cell phone. Whether he was or not, as I stated above, is unclear at this time. But, as I heard the news report, and after I read the details, I could not help but wonder if he was in fact texting, or doing something with his cell phone.
Which leads me to my rant: Our cell phones have become so sophisticated and contain so much information, that we just can't seem to "leave them alone." They certainly "keep us connected." They seemingly have to be in our hands at all times, and if they're in our hands, we're using them in some form or fashion, and for a lot of us, even while driving. And that, sadly, in many instances, leads to somebody getting hurt very badly, or in some cases, results in death(s). Distraction.gov states on its website that for the year 2010, 3,092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. Texting is at the top of the list of "types" of distractions. Further, 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted. I have sat through Certification Classes and watched video's of texting and driving fatalities. At the very least, it is sobering to watch the horror stories of those involved and their families and they are certainly capable of bringing tears to your eyes.
We've all done it. We all have kids who do it. We all have friends who do it. I'm asking... Why can't we all wait??? If you're driving, I say (for what it's worth), hang on just a bit. "Arrive Alive," I think, is a slogan related to drinking and driving, but it applies here as well. It is the Christmas Season. Family and friends time. When using our phones in the car, we seem to "take it for granted" that "I'll be OK, I know what I'm doing," or, "That won't happen to me." But the statistics say different. I'm just saying, in my small little rant here, if you're driving, please "think before you text" and Arrive Alive!!!
Now, myself, I have a built in safety measure: I drive a Jeep. Have you ever driven a Jeep? Trust me when I say, under the best of circumstances, you can't text and drive in a Jeep. If you do, I promise you, your target will be unable to read your text, or, they may think you have been drinking. Add to that, without my "readers" on, I can't see anything up close. So, maybe everybody should just buy a Jeep and we'll all be a little safer. Ha!!!
|Just a reminder... Our Tree in the Box went from this:|
|...To this, the "Finished Tree" (by donna)|
|And just for grins: Donna's "Pinterest" idea for hanging Stockings: A Curtain Rod|