School is in session throughout Person County, and increased traffic, school buses, and children require motorists to be more responsible in their driving habits and time management. Recently, the police department completed “Distracted Driving” training through the North Carolina League of Municipalities. The training was a requirement as part of our Risk Management accreditation. In the training, we learned that most driving distractions such as texting, grabbing the phone, changing the radio, take about three seconds. During that time, a car traveling 40 mph travels over half the length of a football field. If something were to cross their path, the driver would not be able to stop the car in time to avoid a collision, based on the distance needed for braking. A child crossing the street to load a bus, or a stopped school bus serve as examples of the importance of not being distracted while driving. Not to mention, texting while driving is illegal.
On the topic of training, before Person County students returned to school, all local emergency personnel participated in full-scale active shooter training. This amazingly coordinated effort allowed law enforcement, fire personnel, EMS, Emergency Management and others to enhance protocols and work together. While training of this magnitude is vital, it raises questions. What happened to our nation that required our kids to have to transition from tornado drills to active shooter drills? Has the fabric of our nation weakened so much that it is normal to accept a new norm?
In a world full of distractions, I wonder if the distractions of life caused us to focus more on self rather than family and others. There was a time when neighbor looked out for neighbor. Dinner was a home-cooked meal, where the family sat together at the table without distractions of television or phones. The song House of Their Dreams, by Casting Crowns, talks about a family falling apart because of distractions. The chorus lyrics are:
“Now they’re trapped in their own worlds, in their own wars
With their cell phones and the closed doors
It’s funny how quiet and peaceful that it seems
But they’re all alone together
In the house of their dreams.”
I wonder if we as a nation are lost in our world, chasing a false dream because our mind is distracted. Might it be that distractions caused the tensions, political chaos, and sense of entitlement in the American culture? Is your house of dreams full of distractions? I, too, need to focus less on distractions and more on the important matters of life.
Have a blessed weekend.
Editor’s note: Roxboro Police Chief Davis Hess and The Courier-Times have partnered to print a monthly Chief’s Column, which will be published the first Saturday of each month.