You hear the siren and look in your rear view mirror. Yup, it’s a police car with flashing lights; you quickly pull over to the side of the road. Hmmm, you had no trouble finding a spot at the side of the road. So, why do you seem to have trouble stopping to handle an incoming call? Trying to log a notary appointment while driving is not a good practice. Of course you have a BlueTooth hands free device that operates totally touch free. But that’s only for voice, you still want to write some aspects of the call; or do you? How about informing the caller that you are driving and will call back shortly when it’s safe for you to pull over and put the car in Park.
I was an instructor for NTSC, the National Traffic Safety Council. I taught the point reduction / insurance discount class. Upon reflection, it’s likely that I learned more from the students than I taught to them. They were a goldmine of information, mainly on what not to do. One student told the police they were unable to see the pedestrian they hit. “My window was so smeary and dirty that the sun glare totally hid the pedestrian, there was no way I could see anybody. Ouch! I bet that made quite an impression on both the police and the insurance company.
Fortunately few are that negligent. Cleaning the glass, all of it; is a basic responsibility and most folks like to have clean glass; and not just the windshield. Clean inside and outside. I dwell on this because I am a bit of a clean glass fanatic. I use “Invisible Glass” cleaner with a micro fiber wipe to make the glass literally sparkle. The seat belt retractor / tension adjuster failed in my little Honda Civic. The belt did not retract and just flopped around when unbelting. Sometimes it got caught in the door and eventually started to fray. Thankfully Honda, to their credit has a lifetime warranty on the seat belt system – all components were replaced upon my request.
One of the most important aspects taught in my NTSC class was mental attitude. Bad driving manners are a national epidemic. Some will cut you off to gain a car length with barely enough clearance to avoid a collision. Others tailgate to “speed you up”. Someone behind you honks their horn, even though an elderly person is slowly crossing in front of you. To these and all the other “bad manners” offenses your response should be the same, be forgiving. Sure, you are going to be a bit late for that edoc, but the magic word is yield. Let them, no, help them; to do as they wish. Make it easier for them to pass, pull over so the tailgater can hitch themselves to someone else. Ignore the honker, their bad day is not worth confrontation and possible violence.
My audience, the notaries of 123notary.com are generally kind and considerate people, I know many of them. However, some of the folks who hire us have warped priorities. I have been asked to “do whatever it takes”, including speeding and reckless driving to meet schedule. Or more accurately to assure that someone receives their commission. Most would agree that a 12ga shotgun is a very powerful device. But, it is nothing compared to the kinetic energy, in foot pounds, of my little Honda Civic at a stately 30 miles per hour.
The mobile notary is a complex system. The vehicle must be maintained beyond passing a routine inspection. When I flew a Cessna, my instructor drilled into my head the priorities of safe flight. Aviate, Navigate, Communicate; in that order. Maintain control of the plane, have it go at the proper altitude in the right direction. Lastly, communicate by radio my intentions.
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