We all know what it’s like living on a small Island.
Everybody knows everyone, or close to it.
So imagine being responsible for a long-term shutdown of the Confederation Bridge.
You’d be “that guy” or “that girl,” forever.
It could happen so easily.
You’re driving home some night across the bridge when you get a text from your significant other.
“Where are you”, they ask.
You reach for the phone, keeping one eye on the road, and start typing in the numbers to your mobile’s password.
You hit the truck ahead of you. It spins out and clobbers one of the guard walls on the bridge.
The crash causes an instability in the structure, and all of sudden it’s closed for two months of repairs.
And you’re the doofus who made it happen.
If the idea of this scenario doesn’t scare people (Islanders specifically) into paying more attention while crossing the Confederation Bridge, nothing will.
The topic of bridge safety has been in the news a lot lately.
A crash between a vehicle and a sweeper truck a little more than a month ago shut it down for five hours.
That incident prompted the RCMP and bridge management to issue a call on the public to pay more attention while driving on the bridge.
There have been five serious incidents on the structure in the past year and half, all caused by inattentiveness, they said.
They did not say how many of these were caused by texting and driving, however, they did mention that recent patrolling efforts on the bridge have resulted in 11 tickets issued for drivers talking on a phone while behind the wheel.
It’s too many.
For pitty’s sake, the bridge only takes 15 minutes to get across. What phone call can’t wait that long for you to pull over at the other end and call the person back?
Leave the phone alone. Turn up the music and enjoy the smooth ride across the Northumberland Strait.
It’s expensive enough, so we might as well try to enjoy every second of it, and get to the other side in one piece.