A lack of understanding and appreciation

Published 2:00 am Saturday, March 14, 2015

I don’t understand a lot of things.

I don’t understand technology and how words and pictures travel through the air. I don’t understand how airplanes stay in the sky. I don’t understand why beans dry up and clothes dry out. I don’t understand why the camellia japonica, a native of China, is Alabama’s state flower.

And, I don’t understand why motorists are allowed the freedom to talk on cell phones and text while driving but grown up people are required to “Click it or ticket it.”

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I do understand that seat belts save lives. And, I do understand that there are people who are not responsible enough to click their children safely in the vehicle. So, I understand why there needs to be a seatbelt law to protect children.

However, not wearing a seat belt poses a danger only to the one not wearing it. Not wearing a seatbelt is not a cause of reckless or inattentive driving. Not wearing a seatbelt does not endanger the lives of others. If an adult chooses to do something as careless as driving without a seat belt, then so be it. But, the law of the road says, “Click it or ticket it.”

But, woe be, on the road when folks are, lawfully, talking on cell phones and texting.

Those folks will run all over you. It’s scary to be on the road with them. They come at you from all directions. They swerve from one lane to the other and off the road and back on again. They stop when they should go and go when they should stop. Oh, what a fun time they are having keeping up with all their friends on Facebook, seeing what exciting things they’ve done — eating at McDonald’s and shopping at Walmart, checking the baseball scores, the kids’ afternoon appointments or the weather report when they could just roll down the window to see if it’s raining or hot or cold.

Since, there’s no law against inattentive driving, I’ve taken matters into my own hands. When I see someone on the highway texting or talking on the cell phone, I blow the car horn to get their attention — and it takes several loud blasts to get them to look my way. When they glare over at me, I motion “no, no,” as I point to their electronic gadget.

And, they seem to really appreciate being reminded. They always wave back to me … with one finger. Sometimes, they’ll even wave out the car window to me, with that one finger high in the air. So appreciative these people are.

If there were laws against talking on the cell phone and texting while driving, I could roll down the window, motion an offender off the road and make a citizen’s arrest. I can only imagine how much that would be appreciated.

But, until that happens, I’ll just keep my hands on the wheel at two and ten o’clock. I’ll take one hand off only to blow the horn to alert inattentive drivers. Then I’ll go merrily on my way as they wave to me. It’s so heartwarming to know you’re appreciated.