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Unclassified Info: A textbook case of reckless driving

March 29, 2012|By Gary Huerta

Before I get started, I’d like to invite you all to the Glendale Central Library at 7 p.m. Wednesday. I will be joining Patrick Caneday and two other authors for a discussion on self-publishing. We will also be autographing our books for those who wish to purchase a copy.

As a bonus, you will have a rare opportunity to tell me in person whether you agree or disagree with what I am about to say. And away we go.

Last week, my motorcycle broke down on the Golden State (5) Freeway. It happened in a really bad spot on an obscured curve where there was no shoulder. It forced me to put my bike as close to the concrete divider as possible while I waited nervously for assistance.

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Fortunately, this mishap occurred during rush hour, so traffic was slowed considerably. Had it occurred while traffic was moving at 70 or 80 mph, I might not have been so fortunate to escape unscathed.

Ironically, my throttle cable broke as I was revving the engine to get the attention of a distracted, texting driver who happened to be swerving out of her lane and into mine. My brief, unpleasant encounter with the texter was but a foreshadow of two other events involving texting drivers.

The first occurred in stop-and-go traffic, the kind of sputtering commute where everyone moves in unison from 30 mph to a dead stop and back again. During a regular scan of my mirrors, I noticed the girl behind me was spending a lot of time looking into her lap, which is the tell-tale sign that someone is texting.

I also identified huge gaps between her car and mine when traffic would speed up. In one instance, traffic came to a sudden stop, and I looked behind me to see the girl, bearing down on me, head looking down at her cell phone, oblivious to what was happening on the road.

I braced for impact. Fortunately, she looked up just in time to skid to a stop a few inches before hitting me. I glared at her in my rear view, and as she looked in my mirror, I knew she could see that I was aware of what she was doing. I shook my head and drove away, disgusted by her reckless antics.

Two days later, I was driving home in particularly heavy traffic. It was the kind where you are completely stopped and have enough time to freely look around at your fellow commuters. Since I never get that opportunity on my bike, I figured I’d use my time to see just how many texting drivers I could spot.

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