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May 02 - mkamplain
Our County
D. Gary Davis
County Mayor

James 1:8 reminds us that "a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” It is not my job, nor desire, to help interpret scripture, but this verse did come to my mind this past week. It seems that on every aspect of each of our daily activities we are being urged to become the "master” of multi-tasking and as Elvis would have explained "taking care of business in a flash.” This constant effort of getting more done each day affects us all, in every age group, as we experience life in Bradley County and our region.

Educational pursuits are excellent, but we can easily push our children to become what we were unable to achieve as children if we are not careful. This past week I was stopped, in traffic, around one of our excellent school systems buildings and I witnessed something that I had been informed might be happening, but in seeing it first-hand I found it shocking to say the least. In an area where one would think each driver would be at their best behavior and practicing the best in self-defense, it was shocking to see at least 50% of the drivers traveling through a school zone while speaking on their phone, communicating with people in their car that caused them to be looking in the back seat portion of their car and the majority of the 50 % texting on their phones while looking down, or to the side, with their car moving forward. This is unacceptable anywhere, but in a school zone it is truly disturbing.

The human mind is an amazing wonder that science continues to try and understand. And even while you are taking the time to read these few words, you are distinguishing the shapes of objects and assigning them to thoughts that make the concept of reading possible. You are regulating your body temperature, your breathing rate, you are digesting food, and you are converting proteins, fats and carbohydrates into fuel to give your body energy to make this process possible and also trying now to figure out where on earth I am going with this example.

We can accomplish great and amazing feats of human engineering while attempting to concentrate on numerous items at once, but we are much more successful when we focus our attention and concentrate on one task or a goal at a time.

Please, when we are driving, try to focus on the task at hand of getting from one place to another safely. This should be especially practiced at our school zones and when you may encounter a public service, utility, law enforcement, or any emergency professional who may be assisting others and have a need to temporarily divert traffic for a brief time. It has been calculated that during a one second glance away from our path of travel at 60 mph a vehicle will travel approximately 88 feet. It does not take a "rocket scientist” to know that at either slower, or faster, speeds that NO ONE would seemingly volunteer to literally drive blindfolded for approximately the length of half of a football field. Yet these same people will actually do just that, when they look away for just a few seconds to send, read, or correct a text, change a radio station, and look for an item or turn to speak to someone who may be in another part of their vehicle while driving.

May WE ALL pledge to try and do a better job of looking out for our community with a single focus and thought process for protecting those in our car and those who may be along our path each and every day. The lives saved by this single pledge may be a family member, student, public service or emergency worker in our community. Thank you for your help, and know that I, too, will join in trying to reduce distractions and improve focus on the goal of protecting each of our residents and citizens. May we double our efforts to keep this single thought first and foremost on our minds while driving. Protect our cargo, preserve our community and promote our continued safety first attitude. This process will help to continue to keep Bradley County, Tennessee at its best!

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