To the young blonde at the wheel, look up and live

DRIVING along a 100km/h motorway, traffic comes to a crawl.

Checking my rear-view mirror to see the line of cars behind me, I couldn't help but noticing the tell-tale signs of a text maniac.

The young, blonde girl, probably barely off her Ps, is looking up and then down, cradling a phone (I presume) between her legs.

As the traffic snarl begins to ease and we set off again, I check my rearview mirror to see the line of traffic.

One hand barely on the wheel, the hatchback behind me is being (half) driven by our mobile-mad driver.

She continues to look up and down as we climb to a speed of 70km/h.

As traffic slows down again, as cars merge from another lane, she almost slams into the back of me.

What follows is even more incredible.

She continues to text and drive.

I again gradually slow down, to allow a respectable gap in front of me.

Her car again surges towards mine, as she continues to play with her bloody phone.

With her unaware of the changing direction of the road as it curves, her car weaves towards the edge.

I beep my horn loudly.

Despite being in front of her car, she looks behind, clearly not having a clue where the noise came from.

Then, incredibly, she continues to look up and down at the phone as we climb to a higher speed.

After taking a turn-off, I am left wondering how long our young driver will survive before she learns the hard way that what she is doing is incredibly dangerous.

As an editor who led campaigns highlighting very real dangers on our highways because of poor intersections, bad road designs, a lack of separation of traffic, and so on, I wonder whether we have missed the biggest danger of them all.

The phone-wielding idiot behind the wheel.


Mark Furler is group digital editor for Australian Regional Media. He has been a journalist on the Sunshine Coast for 30 years.

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