Think About It: Traffic Jam Phone Blues - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

February 13, 2014

Think About It: Traffic Jam Phone Blues

The rain pain was obvious last week as traffic slowed and blood flowed during frequent jams. As I headed to the windward side last Monday night, two days after repair work had closed the Pali Highway for 12-hours, I was surprised to see that the latest rockslide- just Kailua side of the Kailua-bound tunnel- was in the exact location where work had been done 48-hours earlier, making me wonder just what work was done.

But what didn't catch me by surprise was seeing six to eight cars pulled over in increments of two or three at a time as we inched along, with not much visible damage. My assumption was that a bunch of minor fender benders had occurred due to distraction. People simply couldn't sit in traffic and move at 2 MPH without checking their phones, playing games, or calling someone. And the price they paid was an accident. Do you think they admitted to distraction or being preoccupied with their phones when the traffic stopped and they dinged the guy in front of them? I doubt it.

But standing in the rain on the Pali on their phones to call someone surely made a bad evening worse. Next time you're stuck in unexpected traffic, perhaps you should turn your phone off, and do as the Doobie Brothers once suggested: "listen to the music". Too many people locally breaking the law and breaking bumpers due to needless chatter and driving disengagement is a tough price to pay; and it can be avoided. E.T., phone home? Perhaps, but please, not while you're driving here, friend. Think about it…


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