No reason to text while driving

October 3, 2012


Although I have ridden a bicycle most of my life, I really didn't get serious about it until about 15 years ago. Over that time period, I have participated in cross-state tours, century rides and many other events on every conceivable type of road and in every imaginable condition. I have witnessed motorists at their best and worst. I've been hit with a beer bottle, cussed at and buzzed by drivers who seem to get a thrill out of driving close to cyclists.

But a first happened this weekend as I attempted to cross Savannah Road in Lewes to start a ride. As I pulled onto the shoulder to wait for traffic to ease so I could cross the road, I looked up and saw a lady driving an SUV straight at me. She had crossed over onto the shoulder and was drifting over closer and closer to the edge of the road.

I had enough time to pull off the road and get on the grass. It's then I noticed the lady was driving and texting at the same time. She had her hands in the 12 o'clock position on the steering wheel and was working on her phone at the same time.

When she finally looked up and realized there was a cyclist in front of her, she pulled back on the road. I could read her lips as she yelled, “I'm sorry!” Not only was she breaking the law, she was putting herself and others who use the road at risk.

I'm sure other cyclists have already had a similar experience. What's really scary is that because I was actually on the wrong side of the road waiting to cross the street, I could see the driver. I would not have seen her if I had been riding with traffic. It's all the more reason to get a mirror on my bike.

  • Ron MacArthur has lived and worked in Sussex County all his life. As a journalist for more than 40 years, he has covered everything from county and town meetings to presidential visits. He also has a unique perspective having served as an elected official and lived on both sides of the county.

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