Mobile phones, services and applications. PCs, PDAs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Internet, gadgets, electronics, photography. A technology-life journal ... Relaxed prose, sometimes witty, sometimes funny, reflective and insightful. Short and sweet. Filipino.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Texting while driving

We were preparing to leave Manila in a 3-van convoy going to San Juan, Batangas for my wife's office outing. The three drivers were friends and badgered each other with jokes about each other's vehicle and driving skills. This was a usual kantiyawan between men.

I had an initial panic when we began our trip. Our driver's cellphone kept on sounding an SMS alert. Without missing a ringtone beat, he would reach for his phone, navigate to his new message and read the message while driving at 80kph on an EDSA early mörn.

Man, i couldn't sleep because this guy's phone kept ringing, and my life kept flashing back through the windows of this speeding van!
There's more! When he reads a message, he'd sometimes manage a nasal snicker (in pinoy slang, "ungot") with a wide grin. Then (!) he'd type out a reply keeping his eyes on the road. He'd steal short glances at his phone, smile for his apparently witty reply then press Send!

I wanted to give him a lecture about how the number of text-related vehicular accidents has increased blah blah percent this year... and that you could get brain damage from performing too many sensory-motor tasks w ur eyes, hands, thumb, feet and nose... and that, the bottom-line was i didn't want to die early just because of some witty text message.

But I held back. Because I myself text and drive when stuck in traffic (kids, don't do this at home). Im not saying its okay. But I let the drivers be. I wasn't in the mood to sound like my lola. I let them maintain their added layer of communication. It was, afterall, keeping them awake, informed about navigation, in touch.

Ah, it's good to be alive, and good to be Pinoy. We are genetically blessed with acrobatic thumbs.

Postscript -
My lola was telling us a story about a field trip to Baguio in the 50's. She was a teacher in charge of her students in a rickety Philtranco bus.

Lola observed a student having a chat with the driver. With her English teacher lecturing intonation, Lola told the student: "Never never ever talk to a driver while he's driving. He should concentrate on only one thing -- to deliver us safely to our destination."

Oh, so that's why it drives lola crazy when I talk to her while I drive her around! ü

Times change, rules change, thumbs change.

- edwin
May 9
San Juan, Batangas


  • At 6:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I actually shifted to a PDA phone so that I won't be tempted to text while driving!

  • At 2:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    dont du it ae?!!

  • At 8:41 am, Blogger Edwin "ka edong" said…

    > dont du it ae?!!

    hahaha! you got me! guilty! (but i try to do it only during traffic and not at 100kph)


    ka edong


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