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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Teen Driver Texting Almost Puts Madville Times on Hiatus

This letter may run in Tuesday's Madison Daily Leader.

To the Editor, Madison Daily Leader:

The Letters to the Editor section regularly features glowing thank-yous to the wonderful citizens of our idyllic community. Permit me to dabble in the genre...

I want to thank the teenage driver who managed not to kill my wife, me, and our three-year-old daughter Friday night.

My wife and I were bicycling around Lake Herman Friday night, with our daughter in our bike trailer. Around 6:40 p.m., we were eastbound on 233rd St., the road between the lake and the golf course. Ahead we saw a black 4-door vehicle coming north up Herman Drive toward the road. There appeared to be two teenage boys inside. The driver rolled through the stop sign and turned east onto the pavement. Had I not hit my brakes and swerved, or had he turned west, he'd have crumpled my bike and perhaps my daughter in her trailer.

The driver did not look either way, west or east, as he pulled out. He did not look up at all until my shouts finally penetrated his rolled-up window. (And yes, I did shout, vigorously, and with colorful language. I publicly apologize to my neighbors and any golfers with whose swing I may have interfered.)

Yes, the young man was texting. His eyes were on his phone.

But hey: he didn't actually hit us. He came to a complete stop, kittywampus halfway into the eastbound lane. He waited patiently as we wheeled around him and as I pointed to the stop sign fifteen feet behind him. He even had the courtesy to change directions after we'd passed and go the other way, the long way around the golf course, so he and his friend could still get to town without subjecting us to his exhaust fumes or a closer look at his license plate number.

If I had the young man's number, I'd call and thank him personally for sparing our lives... but I wouldn't want to cause a traffic accident.

So I'll say it here:


Cory Allen Heidelberger

Update: MDL ran the letter right away. Thanks, Jon!


  1. I know this video is graphic, and violent, and really makes your stomach turn, but everyone who has both a driver's license and a cell phone should see it.

    PSA - texting and driving

    Thank God you're okay. Maybe you should pack a rubber ball to get these people's attention.

  2. I pack my camera phone for the tards around rapid who ignore the bikers. The RC PD are great at enforcing bike laws so long as you document the infractions. People get tons of tickets here for pulling out in front of bikers on bike paths. We have several paths that follow main roads and cars are expected to stop before the bike lane so riders can go across without having to go around the cars.

    One $60 dollar ticket from a quick camera phone pic/video and they learn to treat the bikers with respect.

  3. I think that would have qualified as a situation for a citizen's arrest. Reminds me of my relative Cory, who ran a stop sign a few weeks back near Carthage. Instead of bicyclists, he met a pipeline truck...and is still in hospital.

  4. This July New York Times article sheds some sobering light on driving while on cell phones/texting.


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