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Survey says some drivers still texting while they are driving
A reader wants to know of the Conser's Corner developer is going to put in a traffic signal he says is needed.

Date published: 2/4/2013


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By Scott Shenk

FILE THIS ONE in the "we are our own worst enemy" department.

A recent survey indicates the obvious: that just about everybody thinks texting or talking on a cellphone while driving is not a good thing to do.

But a large sampling of drivers still do those things, even while saying others shouldn't.

This isn't the first survey to point out such a strange fallacy in how many drivers think. But the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey doesn't stop there.

In general, the survey appears to find that many of these multitasker drivers also speed, drive while half asleep and don't like to wear their seat belts.

Talk about a toxic mix. Anyone with these traits should seriously consider mass transit as a way of getting from here to there.

AAA pointed out in a recent reaction to the survey findings that cell phones aren't the only problem.

A case in point: I saw a woman the other day run up on a curb going about 30 mph while putting on lipstick. She didn't seem to miss a beat.

But a lot more people use cell phones than makeup. And these addictive little gadgets grow more enticing with each new app- especially for younger drivers.

There are laws in place. Texting while driving is banned in 39 states and D.C. Virginia is one of those states with the ban, which is a secondary offense.

Some, like AAA, call for tougher laws on distracted driving.

Maybe the long arm of the law is the logical way to handle texting drivers.

Unfortunately, as the survey and general experience show, the human animal is marvelously adept at ignoring logic especially when you're texting a really important message.

Dear Scott: VDOT addressed this issue six months ago, but the problem exists again.

The first intersection on the Spotsylvania Parkway just east of U.S. 1, heading east, has two left turn lanes. The left-most of the two has been blocked by upright plastic stanchions, but once again they have been destroyed.

And once again we have two cars sitting side-by-side, some U-turning back to the west, some turning left into Cosner's Corner. And at times both are making the same maneuver and vying for the same space at the same time.

We have been told that the developer plans on putting up a traffic signal, but in the interim could VDOT once again take remedial action to help keep accidents at a minimum?

That intersection is tough enough to negotiate as it is.

--Raymond Burns, Spotsylvania

The Virginia Department of Transportation is working with the developer, Silver Cos., to review plans for a signal at the intersection, says Kelly Hannon. She said VDOT has also told Silver about the stanchions.

As the writer pointed out, and Hannon confirmed, this intersection is Silver's responsibility; VDOT handles the Spotsylvania Parkway on the other side of U.S. 1.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436
Email: sshenk@freelancestar.com