Article posted Tuesday, December 21, 2010 1:36pm

Dear Readers,

Yesterday while on my way to work, I saw a girl reading a book. This would normally be a welcome sight, especially since what she was reading wasn’t an electronic device. However, she was reading her book while driving!!!

My first thought was one of gratitude since she didn’t swerve into my lane. My second thought was I didn’t know they gave driver’s licenses to 14 year olds, since that is about all the older she looked. My third thought was what was she thinking???

I don’t know if she didn’t read a book and was about to have a quiz at school or she found driving boring and needed some entertainment or she was a complete imbecile, but I didn’t think it was worth any one’s life in any scenario.

So, Girl Driving While Reading a Book, do yourself and everyone else in the area a favor and save your reading for anytime that you are not operating a vehicle.

Five minutes after witnessing this, I saw another car (with presumably several more students on their way to school) come into my lane. About 1-1/2 car lengths before we collided, they returned back to their lane. They drove by smiling and chatting, seemingly oblivious.

While my own high school experience was more than two decades ago, I do remember feeling a sense freedom behind the wheel, as well as feeling invincible. I also remember getting pulled over by a state cop for 19 over (whoops) the speed limit, which cured my lead foot and brought me back to reality.

I’m sure that the driver’s ed teachers cover all of the basics of good driving and then some, but I would like to review some of the finer points:

• The yellow lines are not decorative. They are meant to keep cars from crashing into each other. Seriously.

• Reading is mainly an indoor activity. Never intended as something to do while driving. Ever hear of audio books? Seriously.

• Wait until you take your foot off the brake and the car is in park before texting. Seriously.

• Don’t be a booze bag. If you have to be one (for those of you of age), make sure you aren’t going to drive. Seriously.

• Don’t think that because you have four-wheel drive you can drive through anything. And don’t tail those of us who don’t have four-wheel drive. Seriously.

In the past week and a half, I have heard of three people passing away who were under the age of 45. None of them were related to auto accidents; however, it just reminded me how precious life is, and we’re not here forever. So without trying to sound too ‘80s cop show on you, be careful out there.

Happy Holidays!

Mary Pat