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Be here now

A short rant against inattentive road hazards.

Or is it "Be somewhere else all the time"?

Yes, that's wordplay on Be Here Now, the once-popular book on spirituality by Dr. Richard Alpert, aka Baba Ram Dass. Why? Ever look at other drivers while out on the road? That's presuming you're paying attention.

Most seem intent on anything but driving their car or truck. Actual operation of the vehicle is way down on the list of priorities, behind talking (even to people in the car and gesturing with hands off the wheel), eating, shaving, applying makeup, reading a newspaper, organizing files, and I really don't want to know what else. Yes, I've personally seen all of this.

Even though handheld cell phone use is now illegal here in California, and was a bad idea long before that, that doesn't seem to stop too many vehicle operators from moving along with a handset pasted to their ear. Sometimes they seem to be trying to compensate for their distraction by driving slowly--too slowly, and not looking in the mirror or anywhere else.

And they're vehicle operators because they certainly aren't focused on driving. They're merely absently pressing buttons and pedals and moving a steering wheel. I consider them a major health hazard, especially when I'm on two wheels. On a motorcycle or bicycle, I am the crumple zone, and I don't really care for that particular job.

Ok, it's not merely car, truck, and SUV drivers. Pedestrians are, if anything, even worse. And I have seen bicyclists talking on phones while riding, poorly. It's harder for someone on a motorcycle or scooter as we do have helmet laws, and you really can't stick a handset against your ear while wearing a functional helmet. But in non-helmet law doubt.

"Be here now" is excellent advice for staying alive. The opposite is, well, the opposite....