Calling Baton Rouge

Dear my hometown Baton Rouge,

I have a problem with you. I moved away 9 years ago. I have missed you every day. Over the years, I’ve grown to love Reno. I admit it. That doesn’t lessen my love of Baton Rouge, but you do have tons of problems. Many are hard to fix, and many, honestly, are unfixable, but I know one that can be fixed, instantly by each one of you. Stop using your phone while driving.

Don’t think “Oh geez…here we go, another one of those.” Take a moment and hear me out. I’ve been spending more time back in Baton Rouge starting a company. It’s a real estate company, so I’ve been spending a lot of time in the car. During that time, I have noticed very quickly that every single person, in every single car is using their phone. In traffic, in school zones, going 70+ on the interstate, on the godforsaken College Drive nightmare (don’t get me started on that), everywhere. In Reno, you touch your phone, you will get pulled over. A VERY hefty ticket, which just got worse, will be issued. As a whole, people frown on people that use their phone when they drive. It’s a safety issue. Everyone knows they are putting themselves and others at risk. I don’t care what you say, or what you think, it is. You think otherwise, you are patently wrong.

I would have probably continued to just bitch and moan to myself as I drive around if it hadn’t been for two things.

First, the accidents just before the bridge on the west side of the river. There was a span of several days where every day there was a horrific accident. Some traffic dude was on the news saying, “we’re putting up signs and markers, but people are distracted”. Stop it…call it for what it is. He should have said “STOP USING YOUR PHONES PEOPLE.” It really appeared to me that he was scared to say it. He just could not bring himself to speak the truth. He would just repeat, “We think people are distracted and that’s causing many of the problems.” Huh? Really? You don’t say. Distracted doing what? Crocheting? Solving a Rubik’s cube to pass the time in traffic? Practicing their Coach O impression? No, it’s phones, phones, phones. Say it. Admit it.

Second, and more importantly, an old friend of mine just lost her 5 month old granddaughter to a terrible car accident. You may have seen it on the news. I don’t know what happened or the specifics. I do know the family feels the person was texting. I couldn’t imagine losing my child or a grandchild at all, but losing them like that is gut wrenching to me. I have shed several tears for that family. I’m a softy I know, but how can you not? I don’t want to lose any of my family, my friends, my friends’ family, that person in line at Walmart, the Alabama fan, the kid starting school, the mom, the dad, the anyone…not because someone is using their phone. Don’t let it be on you. The people that are reading this post are smarter than that. Please tell me you are.

I know I typically post things to make people laugh. I’m rarely serious and rarely bring up any issues. I hope I bring a occasional smile to each one of your faces, or even a groan for a bad dad joke. In return for that chuckle or smile or like, please promise me you’ll stop using your phone while driving. You are smart enough to do what’s right. It’s easy. You don’t need a law to force you to do the right thing do you? I sure hope not.


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