crossing street on phone

Jamaican Lifestyle: How technology, smartphones and electronics puts us in danger

By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2013, Denise N. Fyffe

1-awomandialsaThis morning, I saw a common example of How technology, smartphones and electronics puts us in danger. I had the very unpleasant experience of having almost killed a school girl pedestrian. I am certain this is an experience none of us want to ever come close to. Fortunately for me, there was a police officer standing right across the road and witnesses. They all would acknowledge that I would certainly not be at fault. It was just another stupid decision by a willing participant in the technology death game

This Excelsior High school student was quite distracted by whatever was playing on her mp3 player, as she crossed a very busy intersection at Hagley Park Road and Maxfield Avenue. She choose to step into traffic at a corner, where oncoming traffic would not be able to see her, until they were right on her. I was at the front of the traffic, so I saw the police officer frantically signalling. Not until I came around the corner, did I see it was a young school girl casually waltzing across the busy intersection, without a care in the world. Her expression only changed to shock when she looked up to see my car was almost on her.

One would expect that from this near miss, she would hurry across the street; you would be wrong, she continued leisurely as if nothing had happened. I didn’t stay long enough to see, but I am certain she got a proper talking to from the female officer who was shouting to her to get out the street and remove the headphones from her ears. All the witnesses on the other side of the intersection were berating this young Excelsior High school student, about how stupid young people are today with their careless use of technology; and I do agree with them.

Jamaicans have taken up many bad habits on the public streets since ‘the latest smartphones’ have flooded our markets. newyorkcellphonesBlackberry, IPhone, Androids, IPads and tablets are all the latest craze. Over 5 years ago students from several high schools including Mona High school were being injured or killed on the streets because they were flaunting these instruments on the road.

I have witnessed many Jamaican women walking on lonely streets at nights, texting on their phone and not being conscious of the dangers around them. Many are also guilty of texting or talking on the phone while crossing the street or even driving. These are actions which will get us hurt and even killed.

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