|Motorist with Earphones is Legal in Washington or Texas, Though the Whacked Hood Makes One Wonders About the Wisdom of Same|
I’ve had a few posts here previously about earphones. Specifically, I was castigated in bike school for proudly admitting I wore them while riding. What’s more, in a later post, I was further castigated by a commenter claiming distraction was inherent in earphones. Googling “earphone accident,” I’m regaled with page AFTER page of stories about pedestrians and cyclists getting killed, with nary a word about the danger of distracted motorists wearing earphones. What then of today’s post pictures; taken while I was a passenger in a car travelling north on I-5 at 60MPH. We were passed by a motorist wearing earphones who was doing 75. More amazing, the same motorist then looked down for a while to text someone while hurtling down the freeway.
|Motorist Texting on the Freeway is ILLEGAL in Washington, but LEGAL in Texas, though the Earphones Themselves are OK Either Place|
Of Course, the NEWS Only Bemoans Pedestrians or Cyclists Doing This
Never mind that talking on a cell phone in Washington State while driving (or cycling) is ILLEGAL (unlike in Texas). It seems that looking DOWN while zooming down the road is a step beyond what is “not careless.” I don’t wear earphones when I’m riding up here in Ocean Shores, but neither do I claim that doing so is a “careless” or neglectful act in and of itself, though I think taking one’s eyes off the road while doing 75 in a 4000 pound vehicle is beyond anything I’ve ever seen someone do on a bicycle or walking along any road.
Considering that motorists kill tens of thousands yearly in the US, (and you see motorists talking with earphones on daily despite any and all laws), while those killed by cyclists and pedestrians can be counted on the fingers of one hand, I think this difference in coverage and attitude DOES count as bigotry. For another perspective on cycling and earphones, check out John Allen’s essay; here. One wonders why our society doesn’t including hearing checks as part of the qualification to get a driving license, or why it is acceptable for car companies; kept afloat with the help of billions of my and your taxpayer dollars to brag how QUIET their cabins are. Perhaps I'd be a little more gracious if Specialized and Trek together received pennies on the dollar.
PS: We were TWO lanes over, so the motorist would have had to really go WILD to hit us...