Cell phones plus traffic: great mix!

Published: May 21, 2004
Updated: May 21, 2004

When you are on a motorbike in traffic so dense that it would be impossible to fall over, because the person next to you would prop you up so to speak, the last thing that you want to see is somebody reaching for their cell phone. However, that’s what happens here all the time. Now, to maneuver through the traffic here you need to be able to duck and weave and make sudden adjustments to your line to cope with the changing traffic conditions. This is best done with both hands on your handlebars and of course one hand is eliminated when the cell phone comes into use.
So, picture this, late yesterday afternoon traveling down Nguyen Dinh Chieu St in traffic that is so dense and volatile and I watch the woman next to us scrambling in her handbag for something. No need to guess, after much wobbling about of her bike and not looking where she was going, out comes the cell phone. However, this was a text message that she had received, so she kept driving single handed and read the message, meanwhile paying absolutely no attention to what was happening in the traffic around her. As if that isn’t bad enough, she then replied to the message, that’s right, she was calmly texting away while driving at the same speed as us down a busy thoroughfare.
One fellow that I saw not so long ago at least stopped his bike to answer his cell phone, the problem is he stopped it dead in the middle of a very crowded intersection. Just sat there having his conversation with others weaving all around him to avoid a collision.
The cell phone culture is alive and well in HCMC

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