Driven to Distraction

Posted on January 18, 2014 under Storytelling with no comments yet


I don’t drink and drive.  I don’t smoke and drive.  No big surprises there as I neither smoke nor drink.  Occasionally I will have a coffee beside me in a cup holder and have been known to eat a muffin while holding the steering wheel with one hand.  I like to listen to the radio and will carry on a conversation with fellow passengers.  With the possible exception of drinking and driving, none of these other activities constitute a distraction or a danger to other drivers, according to Section 100 of the Motor Vehicle Act.

Unless, of course, your spouse is in the driver’s seat giving you directions.

I have become intimately aware of section 100 D (1) of the Act.  It pertains to the use of hand held cellular devices.

On a recent business trip to Cape Breton I discovered the subtleties of the Act.

Let me confess that I can’t tolerate people who text, call or e-mail while driving.  I would have been one of the first people to applaud this addition to the Motor Vehicle Act, having nearly been run over on several occasions by someone oblivious to me being in a crosswalk.  And I would be the first to agree that enforcement needs to be stepped up.

As long as it’s not me that’s being enforced.

I will spare you the details of my transgressions, but when I was stopped on the outskirts of Sydney, I was not texting, e-mailing or talking with anyone on my cell phone.  I politely offered the officer my phone to examine my log, which would make it clear that I hadn’t actually been using the phone.

I will, however, admit that I was cradling the phone in my hand.  Perhaps sending a coy glance its’ way.  Guilt by association.

I was given the option of paying the $169 fine or appearing in court on February 14th.  Happy Valentine’s Day, officer.

Did I mention that I am quite fond of pets?  We had a dog in the family during my youth and, until recently, had three cats as family pets.  I bear no ill will to our four legged friends.

I eased my way off the ramp onto the 105 heading for the Louisburg exit.  Oddly enough, my phone rang minutes after parting ways with the Mountie.  I didn’t pick up the phone.

I was just getting up to speed when I was passed by a small quarter ton truck.  I did a double take and sure enough, there was a Golden retriever behind the wheel.   I followed in hot pursuit.  I admit that I was still a bit rattled from my recent encounter.  I decided to pass the vehicle and sure enough, this elegant pooch was perched on his master’s lap with one paw on the steering column.

For a moment, the cynical side of me thought about pulling off the road and calling the Mounties to report the sighting of the miraculous dog driver.  I didn’t check the Motor Vehicle Act to see if there was a section on sarcasm.

I am sorely tempted to take three cats for the drive to Sydney on February 14th.  I’ll make certain that they are all on my lap, paws on the steering wheel, as I enter the Court House parking lot.



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