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.

Comments

  1. well said!!!

  2. Amen! I know I see way too many “suits” driving down the road wriiting in notebooks, or reading the news paper.

    • I agree Sadie, I know darn near every day I see someone reading the newspaper like they are sitting at their kitchen table… I just can’t imagine!

  3. Well said. You can bet that every one of these NTSB and FMCSA officials promoting this use their phones while driving. And mostly for personal use like who is picking up the kids from soccer, piano lessons, and the like. These lawmakers, or troublemakers, need to wake up. Telephones in commercial vehicles should be the least of our worries. Illegal CDL holders, mexican trucks, better pay…these should be the things they should be working on, and not taking away from the effectiveness of the truck driver. The trucking association needs better lobbyist in Washington. Look at the lobbyist the RV industry has and what they have done…70 year olds driving 45ft 50,000lb RVs with the same license they got by testing in a Toyota Corolla graded by some worthless DOT examiner talking on his phone. And I’m back quiet…

  4. years ago now (When 350hp was a BIG truck) but still fresh in a lot of minds a Driver A driver was warning other drivers of an over Zealous Cop Cop figured there was only 1 driver goin in the opposite directio to which he was calling so he pulled driver up and charged him with transmit whilst mobile….. Driver to to court said to Magistrate in his defence ,”your worship I travel Melbourne to Sydney Or Sydney to Melbourne everynight and on Zaverage chnges
    gears 715 times between picking up my paperwork at one office and handing it in at the other can someone explain the difference between taking hand off wheel to change gear and taking hand off wheel to pick up Mic” magistrate said case dismissed…………..

  5. oops some typos there but ya get the picture

  6. While You are also on the subject of regulators we have been Lobbying for years to get National Heavy Vehicle Laws amd regulator (Like Your DOT) as over dimentional permit conditions hours of travel etc differ from state to state to the way authorities count the hours in 24 in the book. It has now been Provisionaly approved as of 1 / 1 / 2013 we have a national Regulator (but Western Australia is not accepting it as there length lours driving hours and other fatigue laws and enforcement systems are much more truck friendly and realistic (WA would prob be physaclly the size of CA and TX combined wih only a fraction of the population) My point is the person that looks like becoming the CEO of said regulator Was a state Transport Minister in the late 80′s early 90′s a ndd it is no secret he hates trucks
    and it is a matter of public record he does not drive. Won’t even drive a car (in my mind he would prob argue that truck drivers should have no communication at all outside an emergency)

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