June 8, 2006

Hang up and Drive

I walk along a busy arterial on the way to and from work and have done so for a couple of years, now. Lots of people are talking on their cell phones while they’re driving and it seems to gotten worse.

I made a casual count a couple of years ago and the number of people who passed me on the road while using a cell phone was 3 to 5% of the drivers. This time, I thought I’d be a little more precise.

I counted along Cooper Point Road from the intersection with Evergreen Pk Dr, near the freeway, north and west through the Auto Mall, across Black Lake, along Yauger Park, across Harrison, and north as far as 14th Ave. – about 2.5 miles. I started between five and ten minutes to 5:00 PM and finished about 40 minutes later. I did this twice, yesterday and last Thursday.

I counted all the cars traveling in my direction, including the commercial vehicles, but skipping the buses and motorcycles. There were a few drivers I couldn’t see, either because the car was behind another or had tinted windows. I didn’t count those.

Out of 1280 cars counted, 115 were being driven past me by people using their cell phones. That’s 9%, significantly more than a couple of years ago.

Too many, in my opinion.

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