Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"...eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel..."

The state in which I live (The physical state, not my mental one.  We’re all best served not talking about my mental state.) recently enacted a “no texting while driving law”.  Which means, you can be pulled over and fined ($50) for texting while driving.  Admittedly, it’s probably a good idea.  We all probably shouldn’t be texting and driving at the same time.  Especially if were gonna eat, read, and watch TV while were driving.

Over the weekend, I was traveling down one of the major thoroughfares in my area, when I happened upon one of those electronic traffic message boards with this message flashing:

Which is kinda cool, actually.  I’m not really in the know with laws and shit.  I don’t watch the news.  So, this was kinda helpful to your friendly neighborhood jman.   Thanks for the heads up!  I really appreciate it!
It’s the next part of the message that really annoyed me.  The screen blinked and up came this message:

         "Eyes on the road.  Hands on the wheel."

Now, I have to apologize for not having an actual pic of the sign.  I was driving at the time.  If I’m not supposed to drive and text at the same time, how can you expect me to drive and take a pic, too?  I try to be a law abiding citizen.  So, I’m gonna ask you to use your imaginations here kids.  Picture yourself in a boat on the river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies the above slogan in those traffic sign blinking LEDs.   I’ll give you a moment.  Here’s some imaging music to help you along:

Ok.  Got it?  Good.  First of all, did the state have to secure the rights to “Roadhouse Blues” in order to use the phrase “Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel?”  I never met the man, but I seriously doubt the Lizard King would approve of his words being used this way.

                             "Meh.  Whatever.  I don't have a problem with it."
Maybe it’s me.  No…I know it’s me.  But, this shit is irritating as hell.  Maybe it’s the tone of the message.  I don’t know if the state is trying to be authoritative, cute, or clever.  But, I’d wager dollars to donuts it cost them half a trillion dollars to put into motion that second part of their message.  And I’d wager another half a trillion dollars that the brain trust who put that message together is just as guilty of texting and driving as the rest of us.  The whole thing smacks of being hypocritical.
Isn’t there enough going on in the country, where our representatives should be spending just a little more time doing something else?  I know.  How about this:  How about they just leave this message up:

And, I don’t know, work on getting this country covered in wi-fi?  And that’s just me being selfish and self-absorbed cause I’m tired of paying so much to use the internet.  But, I’m sure there’s half a trillion other things that could be accomplished with the amount of time/energy/money that was put in getting this stupid slogan “eyes on the road, hands on the wheel.” up on that electronic billboard.
I’m by no means minimizing the dangers of not paying attention while driving.  It’s important, it undoubtedly saves lives and is all around just a smart thing to do.  But, we pay these clever, elected folks a lot of money.  Maybe they should instead think of some cleverly ways of fixing our economy then spending god knows how much time/energy/money into putting phrases like “eyes on the road, hands on the wheel” on traffic billboards.
Just sayin…


  1. If I'm reading the damn LED sign, that CHANGES its message as I approach, how can I KEEP my "eyes on the road", anyway?

    Stupid politicians.

    1. i know, right?!?!? that was one of the many thoughts i had, passing the sign, too...