Reader-submitted: Inconsiderate, Dangerous and Immoral

opinionIt’s both a shande and a harpe for anyone, especially folks who are committed to observing laws (yes, there are rules, regulations, etc that are not written in the Torah) to consistently ignore the fact that driving and speaking on anything other than a hands free unit (I would outlaw any cell phone use while driving but that’s another story) is ILLEGAL. Aside from being illegal, it is inconsiderate, dangerous and immoral – yes, immoral because someone is putting others in mortal danger.

I’m surprised there are not more traffic fatalities in Lakewood.

Shavuot is almost upon us. Commandments weren’t only gotten on Mount Sinai. Maybe now is the time to do something about this disregard for the law.

Thank you for your consideration.

Susan Levin

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  1. I believe all those bochurim dressed from head 2 toe in black, coming out of their yeshivos every single night, hitching on every street in Lakewood(not street corner!!!) Yes in the middle of the street!! Where they cannot possibly be seen is alot more dangerous and immoral. Parents did u ever realize the danger ur son is putting himself in every night?????

  2. Susan, you are so right.

    But, alas!, what are we to do? Unless the police diligently crack down (which they won’t or can’t because you would need a department of 500 policemen to enforce this law) the only thing to do is to wait for a BIG tragedy, Heaven Forfend…
    You know, like someone cutting off a gas truck or school bus…
    And even then, who is to say people will learn…
    It is sick and getting sicker…

  3. How foolish to think that to be considerate was not given at Har Sinai. Have you ever heard of V’Ahavta L’raiacha Comocha, Lo saamod al dam reyacha etc. And by the way, speaking on a cell phone is NOT a Lakewood problem! It’s a universal one!

  4. While I agree with the point the person who submitted this article is making. I have to disagree with her demeanor and her choice of words. She comes across angry and as if to imply that the people in Lakewood take the laws of the Torah very seriously yet don’t give too much about anything else. To her I say there is a way that you can make your point and sadly the way and manner in which you did was not the way….. unless to have an ax to grind – which seems line the reason for your post.

  5. To: Susan Levin
    Thank you for your post.
    If you use a soft and gentle approach, you will be more successful in persuading the public.

    • I live in Lakewood. On Thursday I was crossing Tenth St on Clifton Ave when a woman on her cell phone blew through a Stop Sign and sped across Clifton right towards me. She managed to slam on her brakes in time to stop about a foot from me ! There is constant carnage and mayhem on the streets of Lakewood, due to both extraofdinarily poor driving skills and the use of handheld cell phones. Enforcement by the Police is nearly non-existent. I’d rather walk point for a platoon of the Tenth Mountain Division in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan/Pakistan then cross a street in Lakewood !

  6. This is a universal problem. I travel 150 miles every day and I see many people talking on the phone without a headset and texting.
    You are 1000% correct, frum people should try harder to do the right thing, but in no way is this a unique problem in Lakewood.

  7. The poster is 100% correct, as well as the people comenting on her harsh tone of “voice” and picking on the community of Lakewood even while this isn’t a localized issue with Lakewood people “ignoring” the laws as she puts it. I for one would also outlaw the 89 year olds driving down NJ roads and highways when their erratic driving CLEARLY indicates they no longer are capable of driving. This seems to be a major proble in NJ and should be dealt with.

  8. I need someone to try this. Between 9:00 and 10:00 at night, go to the corner of Central and Route 9. One of the busiest intersections in Lakewood. School buses drop off crowds of high school boys and….lo and behold they set out to swarm the middle of traffic at the light in order to grab a hitch the rest of the way home. Dressed in totally dark clothing! Running around in middle if traffic? What in the world is going on? Also, why are these boys not being dropped off at home? Why are they even being given this opportunity to be reckless with their lives? Someone please enlighten me. This needs to stop, no??

  9. I think there should be some driving courses in this town to teach people the basics on how to drive safely. Some people don’t even know simple driving laws and maneuvers. This is my to hear yours..

  10. Speaking on the phone isn’t the danger regardless of what the law says. Its the dialing and texting that’s dangerous. Speaking on the phone is no more distracting than having someone in the car with you. So I believe the law is misplaced & not thought through properly. Sorry to disagree with you Susan.

  11. Cellphone usage is a general problem this is a problem that plagues most of the world unfortunately.

    As someone that works on the road and is on the road most of the day in Lakewood and the surrounding towns, I do not see Lakewood having a worse problem than anyone of the surrounding towns.

    And to accuse the police department of not doing their job is also wrong, I have met more than enough people receiving a summons for cell phone usage while driving.

    I believe the writer should be a little more sensitive little less judgmental when writing such an article.

  12. I think Susan needs to relax a little and perhaps travel a little more. There are some drivers in Lakewood that talk on their cell, but there are also drivers everywhere that do. It is a problem, but no more pervasive in Lakewood then anywhere else.

    The fact is most people have headsets, and most new cars have built in bluetooth. Now turning without signaling is a different story.

  13. I’m sure Susan is just using our hometown of Lakewood as an example. This is happening all over but we have to start somewhere why not here. I lost my niece to a cellphone driver. The driver spent five years in jail we lost her forever. Please pull over to make that phone call that is so important or let it go until you get home.

  14. Interesting how most of you make this a “universal issue”. Since when are frum yidden ones’ to excuse away these infractions because “everybody” does it? That is the most lame excuse in the book! As frum yidden we are held to a higher standard! Do you disagree with that!?!
    Whom do you think causes a greater chilul Hashem when they drive with their cell – phone glued to their ear; the fellow with the yarmulke or without the yarmulke?
    Why should I even be saying something that should be so simple to understand? Please my dear cool masmid whom I disagree with most of the time explain to me if I am wrong.

  15. The solution to this problem, talking on the cell while driving, and all the other driving problems, has one solution : More cops on the streets.

  16. The fine for texting while driving in Hawaii is $10,000!!!!! We as the Ir Hatorah in Lakewood should at least double that!!!

  17. It’s not just the drivers – pedestrians should not be crossing the street with the phone glued to their ears either. They also have to be alert and aware when walking in the street.

  18. On the topic of driving (in Lakewood), if you’re waiting to make a left turn, please, please, wait in the left part of the roadway, so that drivers making a right turn do not have to needlessly wait for you to turn. You lose nothing, and help others save time and alleviate unnecessary traffic. Thank you.

  19. Susan is right. My wife was at a red light, fully stopped, at the corner of Squankem & County line, and a guy slammed into her van so hard that he also caused damge in the car in front of her !! Hello ?!! Pay Attention, people !!!!

  20. To “Anon” : sorry to say this, but you are absolutely incorrect. I have long argued, and recently was backed up by results of a study made public, that when people converse by phone, they subconsciously make a mental picture of the person they are speaking to and perhaps even the topic being discussed. Of course if the person is sitting next to them this does not occur. But when having a phone conversation, the person’s mind is “distant” and “focused” on the “far away” person. Therefore, even a hands free device does not solve the problem. I know that many people, probably yourself included, insist they drive perfectly safely when on the phone but it’s clear from objective review, (even your spouse or passenger can probably attest to this) that reaction times, acute awareness of events as they occur, and other essential functions of driving are all lowered and/ or impaired when on a phone conversation.

  21. I agree with Susan and the others who mentioned her tone needing some work… However I disagree with everyone who said that this is a “universal” issue. I used to live in Brooklyn and go there very often. While you will obviously find people there talking on their phones while driving, the amount of people on their phones in Bklyn is a fraction of the amount you see in Lakewood. (Maybe because in Brooklyn you can find 3 cops per 1 block…) I am horrified time and time again by the complete disregard to this very necessary law.
    I also agree with RebRambo; I myself, as a frum Jew am that much more appalled when I see a “Yeshivish” man/woman on the phone while driving. When you dress a certain way, you have to act the part til the last detail!!
    Lastly, talking on the phone, even with a bluetooth/ handsfree device is dangerous! Like Interesting pointed out, it reduces your attentiveness to the road. Whenever I’m in the car (as a passenger) with my husband and he is talking on the phone (via bluetooth) his speedometer automatically drops 10 MPH (without him realizing), and he is much much less aware of the cars around him! Cell Phone usage on the road is dangerous!

  22. I was rear-ended while stopped at a light by a young woman. She was texting. She told me she always “multi-task.” I told her it is hard to do from a coffin or wheel chair. It is illegal to use a mobile phone for talking or texting while driving. That’s means doing so is also immoral. No one is above the law.

  23. It’s very different having a conversation with a live person next to you compared to someone on a cell phone. The person next to you can be a backseat driver and shout “watch out!” if you get distracted while talking to them and prevent an accident. A cell phone can’t do that, at least not yet anyway . . .

  24. This is a big problem specially when woman are the ones talking on the phone….even with a handsfree unit
    I’ve almost bean ran over & had people basically crash into me bec they were holding & talking on their phone

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