Drivers Who Misuse Cell Phones Have Many Readers in a Dither

Drivers who misuse cell phones have many readers in a dither

By Gary Richards Mercury News Staff Columnist

Q I think we need a day dedicated to cell phone blunders. Maybe it will become an educational issue.

Dennis McKenna San Jose

A Oh, yeah. Here we go, with truly amazing stories.

Q My candidate was the guy in a BMW in a left-turn lane on Almaden Expressway. While talking on his phone he pulls a U-turn, against the red light, under the sign saying no U-turn, in front of oncoming traffic at 45-plus mph.

Dennis McKenna

A We can do better than that . . .

Q I'm a light-rail driver and missed a man by 18 inches coming into the Campbell station. He was on a cell phone, walking around the crossing arms which were down with lights flashing. I sounded the horn, he turned and put up his hand as if he was going to stop a

50-ton light-rail train doing 45 mph. The bad news: This is not an isolated incident.

Gary Campbell San Jose

A Truly, amazing.

Q I was on Brokaw Road when suddenly I had to brake because there was a car stopped in front of me with its hazard lights on. I was cringing because I thought I might get rear-ended. Cars behind me stopped suddenly or swerved into the next lane. Next thing I know, the lady with her hazards on hangs up her cell phone and proceeds to drive to the left-turn lane.

Patrick Ichikawa San Jose

A She was truly a hazard.

Q I know you probably get 1,000 e-mails about this a day, but I had to share this. I was crossing The Alameda at Newhall on foot when a driver on his cell phone came within a foot of hitting me as he made a left. Seconds later, a woman made a right turn and actually hit me (I wasn't hurt). She was on her phone as well. Can you please, please, please tell people not to talk on their cells while driving? Especially in residential areas.

Kevin Cooper San Jose

A Through you, I am trying.

Q My favorite: the person who would alternate between driving 60 mph and 75 mph in the fast lane on Interstate 280, depending on whether she was speaking or listening.

Ken Yee Sunnyvale

A Roll on.

Q Driving on Highway 101 south of Tully Road, the freeway was gridlocked. Some guy riding a motorcycle was splitting lanes and making cell phone calls. He would take his right hand off the throttle, weave back and forth as he dialed his phone. He then tucked the phone into his helmet, grabbed the throttle and took off. I saw him do this twice in about 300 yards. At least he was wearing a helmet -- although I am not sure there was much to protect.

George Leavell Gilroy

A Now, smile for you may be on ``Candid Camera.'' And . . .

Q I was on Highway 17 when there was a car speeding along in the left lane that kept shoving back into the right lane. Wait, what's that on his head? Why, it's one of those newfangled video cell phones. But it's not glued to his ear. He's got it braced against his head with his hand as he's shooting clips of the Valley Surprise and gabbing at the same time. All the while wobbling all over the road.

Lynne Jolitz Los Gatos

A Wobble fits.

Q Yikes! While driving on Highway 87 in the construction zone, a woman driving behind me was talking on her cell that she held in her left hand, smoking a cigarette she was holding in her right hand and flicking ashes out the window. My guess she was steering with her knee.

Rita Capps San Jose

A And . . .

Q I don't think we need a law against driving while talking on a phone. But we need something like the 1-800-EXHAUST line, to report people driving badly. Maybe 1-800-YAKKING?

Scott Schroeder Palo Alto

A The signal would be constantly busy.

Have a gripe, minor annoyance or major problem with transportation? Contact Gary Richards at or (408)

920-5335. The fax number is (408) 288-8060. Please leave a daytime phone number.

Copyright 2006 San Jose and wire service sources.

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