Distracted Driving

A while back I took some “Hood Shots” and posted them up on OGT like I always do. I ended up getting a comment from a fellow whom questioned the fact that I take pictures while driving down the road.  I answered him, and I’m not sure if he was happy with my response or just decided he didn’t want to continue the conversation.

Our conversation is below. Hi Otis!

Otis says:

August 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm

How do you take those pics while you’re driving? That doesn’t seem to be what you’d expect of other drivers? Am I missing something?

Reply

Bethany says: 
August 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm • Otis~ I have a camera set up in Rosie that runs on remote. I’m not sure how to answer your question though. What are you not expecting from other drivers? That we take pictures? Explain more and I’ll be happy to fill you in  
Reply

Otis says: 
August 4, 2011 at 6:26 pmEdit 
Hmmm… good question. I guess I equate taking pictures while you’re driving with not paying attention to the road and what’s going on around you. Sorta like the new truckers you complain about who don’t pay attention to their rigs and their environment. It just struck me odd that you were taking your focus away from the road and focusing on your photography. I guess using a mount and a remote shutter would not necessarily pull your attention away from what you’re doing. I assume the camera is prefocused?
Reply

Bethany says: 
August 5, 2011 at 5:03 am • 
Hi Otis, First and foremost you will notice most of my hood shots are taken with no other traffic around and generally I am in rural areas. Once in a while there may be a vehicle coming at me from a distance, or out in front of me but there is never anyone close to my truck. There are some times when I will take a picture when I’m stopped in traffic but even that is rare. My camera is not a point and shoot, it is an SLR so it focuses on what it is going to focus on. The remote for the camera is just like your remote for your stereo, so there is no more focus being taken away from my driving than if I was going to change the radio station. One click and the photo is taken. I will say that there is a time and place for everything; this is something a lot of drivers forget and that is one of my complaints. I drive down the road with my atlas in hand at times like drivers have been doing since the beginning of trucking. I also drive down the road with a notebook that holds my directions in hand while driving. As a driver there are times you have to be doing more than just driving to get to where you are going, but I don’t take my attention away from the road when I have someone around my truck for both my safety and theirs. Common sense goes a long way.

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So the above conversation as well as this bunch of bullshit has had me thinking about hands free phones, distracted driving and all the rules and regulations they are throwing at us as commercial drivers more so than ANYONE else who DRIVES a vehicle.

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The people who are making rules for us don’t know a semi truck from a Honda Prius, and there are too many people against trucks that haven’t a clue because they are being led around by the hook in their nose believing everything they are told or read and that is it. And, most likely they are against trucks because we slow them down and hold up their day even though most cannot comprehend what it takes to get 80,000 pounds up and moving properly.

Now, I say this (and these are only my thoughts and opinions here) but it doesn’t matter one damn bit if I’m taking pictures, tuning my radio, putting in a CD, blowing my nose, sneezing, burping, coughing, rubbing my eyes, crying, laughing, eating a burger, taking a swig of coffee, watching a half naked cowboy working on a fence line in Nebraska, or talking on the phone. At some point or another in an 11-hour day, my attention is going to be elsewhere other than on the road. And so is yours and all of our law makers who drive on the very highways you and I are on.

One of the keys to being a good driver is knowing when. When to look at a map, when to tune your radio, when to take a bite of that cheeseburger. Most people could care less, or haven’t ever thought about the fact that their actions really could kill someone in a split second. I hold a huge responsibility when I’m in any vehicle, and it does not matter if I’m in Rosie or my personal vehicle, because not only is my safety a priority, so is everyone around me.

A car, truck, or motorcycle, when the driver is not paying attention can kill. It does not matter.

So, rather than making a bunch of bullshit laws against truckers only, why not go to the source? Train every driver correctly from the start & make laws so that EVERYONE who holds a valid drivers license  is accountable for their actions.

If there are laws thrown at drivers, it should be all drivers and they should be “if you fuck up while driving your all done, no more chances”. That would make a whole hell of a lot of people sit up and pay attention on the road.

What do you think?

Bethany About Bethany

I am a prisoner of the highway, farmer and lover of Mother Nature, the moon and stars, my long and low, flat-top Peterbilt, chickens, cats, dogs, horses, cooking, photography, tattoos, tea pots and vintage barnifacts…among other things. I’m also a very, happily married, third-generation truck driver. My career choice is both demanding and rewarding, just like most things in life that are truly good.