Go away I’m on the phone


I distinctly remember my mother saying this to me when I was young. I probably wanted to dob on my big sister for  some unspeakable evil she had committed or something, but my mother would cover the mouth piece and say “Go away, I’m on the phone”.

Of course those were the olden days when phones had cords and most homes had a chair in the hallway or somewhere allocated to sit and talk on the phone. Hasn’t that all changed!

Today though I had a similar experience as I rode my scooter to the post office. Meandering down the middle of the road was a woman on her phone, and she gestured to me to go around her. Now, if she had been crossing the road, I would have found that both unremarkable and easy to negotiate. However she was meandering, wandering down the road at an oblique angle, pushing a pram and attached to the pram was a little toddler, maybe three years old, completely oblivious to the danger her mother had placed her in.

A car would not have been able to pass at all.

Apparently though, because she was on the phone, she had right of way, or was more important or something. It steams me up as a rider when I see motorists on their phone, because I know for sure that next lane change will be without a signal, and in all likelihood just in front of me. But a woman with a child and a pram! Has the world gone absolutely and completely mad? Do people switch off their brain when the phone rings? I don’t know why it is happening but it is driving me nuts.

Honolulu has got it right. If you are crossing the road as a pedestrian, you cannot be on your phone. I have lost count of the number of idiots I have seen, chatting away on their phone, step out into traffic. As a scooter rider it is scary but in a car it is a fatality waiting to happen.

The usual whinges from the usual suspects about police being dragged away from real crime to monitor phone use at pedestrian crossings is no surprise. I believe it is a much better use of their time as opposed to time spent diverting traffic after someone has been hit, then visiting family etc.

So, let me the first to say it. You are not smart enough to be on your phone and walking. You are in someone’s way, perhaps putting yourself in danger and almost certainly being a bloody nuisance to the person walking behind you or trying to get past you. Get to your destination, then make a call, or if someone calls you, step aside, find somewhere out of the way and chat, or tell them you will call them back.

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