posted by coyote
I held out some hope last fall when Ontario enacted a law banning drivers from using handheld cell phones.
Huh. Didn't make a damn bit of difference. Drivers still yak - and endanger lives - openly.
The observant among you may note the statute exempts police. I'm left to ponder why, since the law came in, every cop who drives past suddenly has a handset glued to their ear. How much back-channel chatter do they need? And why? I digress.
I've filed tonsa anecdotal evidence in my doggy rounds through Ottawa's mean streets. I hafta say, it proves to me that cell phone addicts make the streets meaner. Drivers, walkers, it doesn't matter - I've been mowed down by both, and my once-fine bushy tail is a stomped shadow of its former self.
People on phones do not see their surroundings when they look inward to channel the other end of the line. I have not figured out the mechanism by which drivers think they should continue to (ab)use phones when research suggests strongly that they're so gosh darn bad at it, but the conviction seems universal. Salient signs are a thousand-yard stare and a deep obliviosity to surroundings. So much obliviosity that pedestrian offenders' glazed eyes do not even flicker as they lurch against other sidewalk citizens.
I suspect the only reason everybody thinks they can drive and talk on a cell at the same time is because the very act makes them so heedless that they never register the carnage in their wakes. Recently, f'rinstance, some nit in a high-buck Teutonic conveyance was so other-focussed that he nearly splattered me across a red-lit crosswalk. The shock on his face after he screeched to a hasty halt was compounded when I planted my muddy paws on his window sill, stuck my pointy snout in, and conversationally suggested he turn off his fucking phone so as to forestall another near-murder at the next traffic signal.
Sadly, he was not so shocked that he couldn't whine back a shaky riposte. Along the lines of, "Oh yeah? Fuck you, too!" But we both knew it was the lamest of bids to save his red-lit face...