The vehicle in front of me has that familiar bumper sticker that reads, NO JESUS, NO PEACE above, and KNOW JESUS, KNOW PEACE below. But because the top line is printed in black on a white background, only it is discernible–NO JESUS, NO PEACE.
This vehicle is in the left lane, on a five-lane highway (four regular lanes, with a turn lane in the center). I’m driving in the left lane too–because I will soon be getting into the turn lane, and making a left turn.
The vehicle in front of me is moving at, or below the speed limit–and obviously not passing anyone. So unless its driver is about to make a left turn as well, he or she should be driving in the right lane. Yet it soon becomes clear that this driver is not turning anywhere, just prefers to hog the left lane. And the NO JESUS, NO PEACE bumper sticker just rubs it in, as if the driver is saying, “I’m a Christian, so I own the road.”
Seeing that the right lane is clear, I move into it–to pass this road hog, and just get home. And as I pass this vehicle, I glance at the driver–out of curiosity more than anything else.
She holds a mobile device in front of her, behind the steering wheel. She’s talking on it–or rather, to it. She doesn’t notice me–she doesn’t notice anything or anyone around her. To her credit, she’s holding the mobile device downward just enough that she can see the road in front of her. But she obviously cannot focus on the road, while talking on that phone–it’s just too distracting.
I motion for her to put that phone down, but she doesn’t notice. And when I complete my pass, I point to the rear of my truck–which is covered with bumper stickers that read, HANG UP AND DRIVE, and PUT IT DOWN, IT CAN WAIT. Of course I don’t look back long enough to see if she notices them–I have to focus on the road myself. But she almost certainly doesn’t see them–she’s too focused on that mobile device.
I get into the turn lane, and make my left turn–while this willfully-distracted driver continues down the highway.
It should be illegal as hell to use a mobile device while driving–such willfully-distracted drivers should be treated as severely as drunk drivers. Because mobile device usage behind the wheel is now killing far more people than drunk driving is. Insurance agents know this. Law-enforcement officers know this. And the senators and representatives in the Florida Legislature know this–as do the Governor of Florida and the justices of the Florida Supreme Court.
But these politicians do nothing about it. You see, if they were to ban any mobile device usage behind the wheel–if they were to make any usage of a mobile device while driving (even texting) a primary offence–it might affect tourism. And it might affect the overwhelming immigration from other states too–millions of Americans are moving into Florida because the cost of living is so cheap here. These people bring money into the state. And the State of Florida is the most lawless state in the nation because it holds money far more dearly than the lives of its residents.
If using that mobile device while driving were illegal, I could get this woman’s license tag–give it to the sheriff’s department–and its officers could stop this willfully-distracted driving immediately. But it isn’t–not in the lawless state of Florida.
Yet I can’t stop wondering, as I drive to my house, Does that woman realize what a poor “witness for Christ” she is? If she is still alive, what will she think when she inevitably kills another driver–or a pedestrian or bicyclist–and the officers on the scene remind her of her NO JESUS, NO PEACE bumper sticker?
In this–the most lawless county in the most lawless state in the nation–the driver described above is quite typical. I encounter drivers like her every day–I take my life into my own hands every time I drive anywhere. NO JESUS, NO PEACE? Might as well read, NO CELLPHONE, NO PEACE.