Blame It on the Potholes -- Drive for Life -- a coalition consisting of among others AAA, Volvo Cars of North America and Indy Racing League Champion Greg Ray -- released a survey early this week saying that more than 90 percent of drivers admit to risky behavior behind the wheel. Among the top ten driving mistakes are "Zoning Out" (What? Huh?), "Speeding" (Yeah, there's a huge surprise) and "Becoming distracted inside the car" (Can you say "cell phone" or "crying baby"?) The survey found that, nationwide, more than 90 percent of drivers admitted to doing something unsafe while driving within the last six months. An astounding 14 percent said they had been reading (how does one even do that?), 30 percent said they ran yellow or red lights (they must all live in Spokane) and 26 percent said they didn't use a turn signal (using a turn signal is only if you want other drivers to know your plans).
Apparently, while engineers are racking their brains trying to make cars and streets safer, drivers continue to ignore the most basic safety rules, even the ones that can save lives: 28 percent said they didn't use a seatbelt.
Hit the Books -- So you may have time off from school, but that doesn't mean you should stop reading -- at least not if it's up to Washington Governor Gary Locke. He kicked off his second annual Summer Reading Challenge during a visit to Spokane on Tuesday. Locke is challenging students 18 and younger to read at least 15 hours this summer and report their progress to the governor's office. Anyone who makes the goal will get a certificate from the governor and be entered in a drawing for a trip to Disneyland. All local libraries are participating in the reading challenge, and students can report their progress via e-mail or via the Internet at www.governor.wa.gov.
Nice Peepers! -- Businesses on North Monroe have been hit hard by the reconstruction of the Monroe Street Bridge, but now they're fighting back with... swag! That's right, free stuff (okay, a pair of collectible binoculars) can be yours if you shop the businesses in that district between the bridge and Broadway. In case you just moved here, simply use the Post Street Bridge... or Maple... or Washington -- hey, it's not hard, so do your part to help. And while this isn't a rule for getting your free binocs, it should be -- when you visit one of these shops, don't leave until you buy something.
Publication date: 05/29/03