Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Safety First! I Mean It!

On Sunday I went to traffic school. The judge at traffic court offered me a sweet deal of traffic school + court costs + no law-breaking for a year = my record remaining spotless. I didn't have to think twice to agree to that one. I guess I'll have to stop jaywalking for the year, though, and that cocaine habit I was thinking of starting up will have to wait.

The way being sentenced to traffic school goes is that the judge issues the order, the traffic school sends you a letter with half the instructions in all caps, and within five days of the date they sent you the letter, you must have either mailed or dropped off a MONEY ORDER ONLY A MONEY ORDER NO CHECKS OR CASH, MONEY ORDERS ONLY PLEASE. After receiving the letter, I thought, "Oh, great, just dropping off the money order and scheduling the class will probably be a huge headache." But I thought too soon because it was actually one of the most efficient transactions I've ever made, and the bonus was that they had a Sunday class, whereas I thought I was going to have to miss a Saturday with my precious Saturday baby to attend.

So on Sunday I showed up early for the class, grande hazelnut mocha in hand in order that I might last the four hours without nodding off. And then the class only took an hour an a half, and was interesting to boot. Seriously! For example, did you know that Princess Di would have lived if she had been wearing her seatbelt? And did you know that the reason her seat-belted bodyguard ended up in a coma was only because his head was hit by the head of the princess? TRUE STORY! He would have walked away from the car on his own two legs if he hadn't been hit in the head with the noggin of a princess. How's that for motivation to make sure everyone is buckled up before you drive?

I also learned that we would have to be in Iraq for another fifty years to equal the deaths due to traffic accidents in just one year. The instructor kept saying, "but no one gets outraged about lack of driving safety." And it's true; we don't. Or if we do, it's in the form of road rage, not in a way that would have a positive effect. There are a few simple things we could do to affect road safety, but many of us don't do them. First, we could buckle up and make sure everyone in our vehicle is buckled before we pull out of our parking spot. It's not about each person's personal choice--see above story about Princess Di injuring her bodyguard. Second, we could be more proactive about designating drivers and making sure that those who think they are okay to drive really are. I have felt embarrassed in the past about offering to drive someone home, or even insisting that they get a ride, but what's worse--possible death or possible embarassment? Third, we could be better advocates for driving training programs for teens; if a school can afford a sports program that only benefits a small percentage of their students, surely they can devote part of their budget to a program that would benefit nearly everyone. Fourth, we can all be more focused drivers. I know that my accident occurred because of a momentary lack of focus, and while it is human nature, we could probably each do a little bit better job of focusing on the road, whether it be by less fiddling with the radio or the cell phone or doing a little less daydreaming (not that I would know anything about that...*ahem*). Fifth, did I mention wearing your seat belt? I know I did, but I am beginning and ending with this because of how many lives buckling up saves. If you visit wrecked cars at the junkyard, even those with the worst damage will still have seats that are intact. In 99% of crashes, you stand a much better chance of surviving a crash if you are attached to your seat.

Buckle up, bitches.

Thank you and goodnight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"I don't want you to be a flying projectile," has worked wonders with getting Grannie to buckle up!

Mom