By Jon Keller


BOSTON (CBS) – It happened yesterday afternoon at the Fresh Pond rotary on Alewife Brook Parkway in Cambridge, a woman in a big SUV came barreling into the path of a smaller car that clearly had the right of way.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

If driver number two had been less alert, or driving any faster, no way could he have slammed on the brakes before being broadsided and, most likely, killed by the nitwit in the SUV.

Why did she do it?

I’m positive the cellphone glued to her face played a major role in her failure to stop, slow down, or even, by all appearances, even notice that she almost took another life.

How can I be so sure?

Because hardly a day goes by that I don’t see reckless, dangerous driving by people with cellphone in hand, oblivious to the carnage they’re on the brink of causing.

There are ten states that ban driving while on a hand-held phone, and we’re not one of them.

Only recently did we manage to ban their use by drivers under age 18 and school or passenger bus drivers.

So you can’t count on the state to step in and restore some order to the wild west scenario that’s playing out on our roads.

We’re going to have to take action ourselves, and instead of just complaining about it, I have a proposal.

Starting next Tuesday, May first, let’s all vow to no longer talk on the phone in a moving car that we are driving, other than in exceptional circumstances.

These would include an emergency call from a child or loved one, or any truly important call in a situation where you cannot pull over and stop.

No more idle chatter, casual gossip, or other stuff that really could wait a few minutes until you’re done steering a ton of metal at potentially-deadly speeds.

If everyone took up this challenge, we could cut the incidence of cellphone-distracted driving by, I would guess, about 90%, with a corresponding drop in accidents and near-misses.

Selfish, dangerous foolishness, or grassroots common-sense activism – it’s your choice.

Please choose wisely.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

Jon Keller

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