Distracted Parking!

Jay Anderson knows a thing or two about the importance of persistence and promotion. As Executive Director of STAY ALIVE…JUST DRIVE! Jay has been pounding the pavement, airwaves, billboards and classrooms to send an important message of safety to the public.

Stay Alive Just Drive Campaign GraphicHe is passionate about his cause and continually thinking of new strategies to get people’s attention on the important issue of distracted driving. Although focus tends to be on cell phone use, the primary culprit is texting while driving. There are numerous other distractions (eating, changing CDs, putting on makeup or shaving) that interfere with a driver’s ability to concentrate on…you got it, driving.

To help his message have staying power, Jay relies on Promotional Incentives for appropriate giveaways such as the very popular carabiner key rings to remind people, when they grab their keys, to be safe. Bumper stickers on cars including law enforcement and emergency vehicles give increased visibility and an important moving reminder, to be alert whenever you get behind the wheel of a car.

Promotional Incentive Stay Alive KeytagI consider myself an ambassador of this campaign, pleased to be able to promote the cause and increase donations. Yet even as strong an advocate as I consider myself to be, it’s a struggle for me to be disciplined enough to break the habit of talking while driving.

I’m okay about not eating or changing CD’s (though I will do that at a stop light), and I have no children to yell at in the back seat, but since my first car phone was installed in 1989, I have to admit to talking for many miles.

In an effort to decrease distractions, we have to be willing to view it as a work in progress. It’s unlikely that many of us will stop cold turkey, even after having seen the horrific scenes in the educational videos. That is an unfortunate side to human nature. So we have to be willing to chip away at it.

This week, I was humbled when parking for a meeting at the chamber of commerce and instead of scrounging for a few quarters in my car, I decided to park in one of the designated chamber spots. Not wanting to take up one of the two directly in front of the building, I opted to go around the corner and park in one of the two (or so I thought) spots. I even pulled up to the “front” one in case someone else might want to park.

For the sake of full disclosure, I have to admit the sign said ‘30 minute CoC parking’, but since it was early andPromotional Incentives Fire Hydrant there were many spots available, it seemed like it would be okay. Wrong. When I returned to my car 90 minutes later, there was a green ticket on my windshield with a $50 fine (or more if not paid in three days).

Incensed because I assumed the ticket was for being parked longer than thirty minutes, I went into the chamber office where the Exec Director Marietta Mudgett promptly called on my behalf to see if it could be minimized. When she read the violation code to Don at the CRA he asked, “Did she park against a yellow curb?”  So Marietta opened her window blinds as we both saw my car parked next to a fire hydrant and a yellow curb. “Sorry, due to state law there is nothing I can do about that, ” he explained.

What a way to start the day, but truthfully I was mad at myself for not paying more attention, and here’s where I have to eat crow, I was on the phone while parking. When I told Jay this story we both enjoyed a hearty laugh while realizing that this was in fact, an example of distracted parking.