RULES OF THE ROAD
Texts, bikes and butts
Imagine you are driving to your friend’s house. Then, all of a sudden, your phone vibrates in your lap. You look at it, thinking it is your friend to meet somewhere else. So you open it and soon enough you are driving straight into a truck. That text just took your life.
Even though texting while driving is illegal, thousands of people still do it. In 2011, 23 percent of car collisions involved phones. It may not seem like a lot, but that represents 1.3 million crashes. But not all of these crashes include teenagers. Even though teens are more tempted to text while driving, many young drivers have seen their parents talk on their cells while driving. Parents need to set a better example.
Texting while driving makes a crash 23 times more likely to happen. Doing the right thing while driving has a huge impact on your children because they look up to how you do things. Sending a text takes the driver’s eyes away from the road for the average of five seconds which is, driving 55 miles per hour, like driving the length of a football field without looking. Sending a text can also take you out of your lane for a long time, which can cause a crash very quickly. The solution is to simply put the phone down while driving places. It may not seem like it will affect much, but it can save lives.
ALEXIS KOPP, St. Paul
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The proliferation of bicycles on our roads and bike paths can be hazardous if safety is not taken seriously. Why aren’t people using good old-fashioned hand signals when making a turn? Here is a little refresher, folks: When turning left, place left arm straight out with a pointed finger before making your turn. When turning right, make an L-shape with your left arm out and fist up in the air before making your turn. Drivers also need reminding about what these hand signals mean. After all, safety is a two-way street.
SHARON E. CARLSON, Andover
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Ahhh! Behold the beauty of Minnesota, even in our Twin Cities urban areas. Stop at an intersection with a traffic light. Roll down the window and enjoy the sights and scents of an enticing, lush new summer. Look up at the bright blue sky. But, don’t look down — unless you enjoy staring at a couple hundred cigarette butts strewn on the corner. A recent writer justifiably complained about littering at the lake, but we don’t have to go that far to observe the evidence of so many lazy, inconsiderate and disrespectful slobs. Guilty ones, you know who you are. Pollute your ashtrays, not our environment!
JIM BARTOS, Brooklyn Park
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RULES OF THE GAME
Stop the referee abuse
Dear soccer moms and dads:
Stop. Just stop. Never before in my seven years of reffing soccer have I had worse parents than this year. And that’s not just me: Reports of referee abuse by parents have come from all over the state.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.