2016-06-28 Tue

Distracted Driving

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The prevalence of Distracted Driving is obvious to regular pedestrians. I have watched taxi drivers edge up to the car in front of them while the driver’s jaw is on his chest, so intent is he on reading his cell-phone.

I have seen cyclists barreling along College street, one hand (only) on the handlebars, the other pressing a cell-phone to the ear.

Christopher Greaves DSCN4151.JPG

What surprises me is this data released by the Ontario Provincial Police.

Since the data is reported by the Ontario Provincial Police, I assume that the data applies to the Province of Ontario.

A distracted driving collision every thirty seconds translates to ... well let me do the calculation.

















If there are two collisions per minute attributed to distracted driving (and note that these ARE collisions, they are NOT accidents!), then one hundred and twenty collisions occur per hour.

Over a million per year.

Assume an average fix-up cost of fender-benders of, oh, say five hundred dollars, then we’re looking at $500,000,000 per year spent on fixing problems caused by vehicle drivers.

I say, let’s fine/tax/penalize those drivers for an amount equivalent to the cost of repairs (all repair shops required to submit records to a bureau, or at least, all Collision Centres to get in on the act) and put the money towards Rail transit systems (light and or heavy) across the GTA.


So. Into a well-known store this afternoon. I shan’t name it, but it used to be known as Radio-Shack.

I need a new set of Ear Buds for my Phone. I seem to buy a new set every six months. Either I lose them, step on them, or the wire chafes which toggles the signals on and off, making it sound like the Spanish reporters are running from one side of my head to the other with every step I take.

$15+tax. OK. Would I like the $5 add-on Warranty?

Now I am dead-set against these scams, because stores that offer them are basically asking ME to bet that the product will break down before its expected life is completed. If I take the add-on Warranty I am betting that for $5 I’ll get a $15 set of ear buds for free when the new set breaks down. Why would I buy a $15 set of ear-buds AND bet that they are not going to work after a few months?

Then the sweet young thing (I find that nowadays they are all “sweet young things”!) sweetened the pot by saying that the warranty was good for three years from today, and was good for two replacements!

“What!” I said. Then, “What?” I asked.

SYT said that if, after six months, the buds broke, I could walk into any Used-To-Be-Known-As-Radio-Shack store and just get a replacement set.

“What?” I said.

Yes, said SYT, and if six months later that replacement set breaks down, I could walk into any Used-To-Be-Known-As- Radio-Shack store and just get a replacement replacement set.

But after two replacements I was done. Or after three years.

The store is STILL asking me to place a bet that my new ear-buds are going to break down, and I only bet on sure-things. Not horses or boxing matches or baseball games or the quality of anything not made by me.

So why did I buy the $5 warranty? Because SYT pointed to the broken set of ear-buds in my hand and pointed out that I could, as an example, walk into any Used-To-Be-Known-As- Radio-Shack store and get a replacement set for this broken set I bought, Oh!, six months ago.

So I reasoned that for $20 I was getting three sets of ear-buds, whereas for $15 I would be getting only one set.

I reasoned further that I couldn’t just GET a new set, I’d probably have to turn in the old set, so I can’t spend tomorrow morning collecting my two new sets and be done with the store that Used-To-Be-Known-As- Radio-Shack store for three years.

Observations (Calling all Civil Engineers)

Answer to yesterday’s quiz : There is a shortage of cranes! That’s a measure of the amount of construction in Toronyto.

If you need a gantry crane but there are only luffing cranes available, then you have to take a luffing crane!