For more in this week’s distracted-driving file, we turn to Senator John Thune with this message from Highway 212:
It appears this tweet is from the passenger seat of a moving vehicle. I can’t see enough of the face in the rearview mirror to tell who’s driving, but I’ll assume that that the Senator’s aide is handling the wheel while the Senator himself mans the social media.
But look at that phone depicted in this Twit-pic streaming video of a baseball game. If the passenger is watching the game, that’s fine, but you’d think the passenger would watch that video on his side of the car, perhaps holding the phone in his lap, where the moving images would not distract his driver, whose attention is required to protect the second-most powerful Republican in the United States Senate. However, in this photo, the phone streaming video has been placed at the center of the dashboard, squarely in front of the navigation display, clearly in the driver’s field of vision. Even if you’re a good driver, it’s hard not to be distracted by sudden movement. Your driver brain actually kinda sorta oughta be on a hair-trigger for sudden movement—swerving cars, leaping deer, suicidal drug abusers poised to ruin your political career…. If you want to maximize your chances (and everyone else’s) of making it safe and sound to Leo’s Good Food for sour cream raisin pie (wait—the sign said good food), you might want to keep that video away from your driver.
You might also not want to tweet an example of distracted driving on the eve of your Attorney General’s sentencing for operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile device. I know, Senator Thune, I know, you’re not doing the driving, so you’re not violating SDCL 32-26-47.1, which prohibits using a mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle, or SDCL 32-26-47.2, which prohibits accessing, reading, or posting to a social networking site while operating a motor vehicle. I’m just saying that it’s never a good week to be playing videos where your driver can see them, but this week is a particularly bad week for setting that bad example for highway safety.