A Milton man has posted a plea to those of us who use our cell phones while we are driving.
Frankie Palermo took to the Nextdoor App to make a plea that should not have to be made, but he has good reason.
Palermo rides a motorcycle.
What does Palermo see while riding his motorcycle? He sees blue skies, open fields, moss hanging from the trees, beautiful, winding back roads, and motorists on their cell phones.
Texting? Posting on Facebook? Scrolling through Twitter? Answering texts? Taking Snapchat videos?
He doesn't know. All he knows is that when motorists are paying attention to their cell phones, they are not paying attention to the road or to the other people using that road.
Palermo begins his (well-intentioned and much-needed) rant with a simple question:
Do you REALLY have to?
He then goes on to explain that he rides a motorcycle. A "beautiful Bonneville Blue" Harley-Davidson, to be exact.
Palermo even tries to stave off the predictable criticism directed toward bikers by admitting, "Yes, it's my choice", but he shouldn't have to do that because this is no time for victim-blaming.
Many motorists might think that Palermo is "crazy" for riding a motorcycle, but that's the wrong attitude to take. It's the responsibility of motorists to be aware of ALL traffic, that includes other vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians - ALL traffic.
But every single day, I'm surrounded by people piloting 3000+ pound autos with one eye on the road and the other on their... cell phone.
Palermo has witnessed it himself, as many other bikers have: motorists seemingly unaware of the traffic around them because they are using their cell phones.
How would I know? Because I used to ride.
I just sold my motorcycle recently and, in part, it was because of this very thing: people just aren't paying attention.
Palermo shares some of his "experiences" while on the road:
I’m cut off, pulled out in front of, pushed over, and the common denominator is that glow of a screen and eyes down.
He says that he has had many close calls and he has noticed something in common among each of those drivers: they are looking at their phones.
Palermo admits that motorcycles can be hard to see and, when you add a distraction to the equation, the results sometimes aren't pleasant.
Some might blow off Palermo's rant but, you know what? He's right. I have a coworker who admitted to me that she was seeing herself using her phone more and more while she is on the road.
Even if you are using your phone for navigational features, you shouldn't be looking at it: you should be listening to it.
Are we at the point where we truly can’t go 10, 15, 20 minutes without talking or texting someone? It’s literally ridiculous how needy you must be to HAVE to be on your phone constantly.
Again, Palermo has a point: study results posted in Forbes have shown that spending more time on social media apps has led to an increased level of narcissism among its users. It's like a drug and, as you know, you shouldn't drive while you are using drugs.
Just put the phone down.
Even if people think that bikers are crazy to be in traffic with motorcycles, Palermo begs people to think of others. He admits that he is "just an old biker", but reminds people that it could be a child that may dart into the roadway.
Are you prepared to run over a child because that text message was more important and you did not see them?
It's a shame that he has to bring up children (yes, most of us have a special place in our hearts for kids) because, in my opinion, NO LIFE is worth losing because someone was paying attention to their phone.
Palermo even mentions that he has witnessed some drivers even watching videos on their cell phones while driving.
He wraps up his rant with a clever saying:
...put the phone down. You’ll live! And so will we..
Here's Palermo's complete rant, via Nextdoor.
Great advice: Put the phone down - you'll live!
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