How’s My Driving? Text Me About It

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It’s such an annoying idea that it just may catch on, just like the laser pointer and Nextel’s Direct Connect. Abuse is eminent, anyway, as the next sexual harassment case includes language like: “He PL8Scanned her with a message that read, ‘nice headlights’.” Yes, it’s text messaging and social networks taken to the (eventual) level of public nuisance.

Those who sign up for PL8Scan‘s services (i.e., your daughter when she gets her hands on a driver’s license) can now be contacted by other drivers via SMS text messaging on their mobile phone. The license plate number is the contact info, a technological step up from the MySpace “Add Me” business cards.

PL8Scan uses examples like “U have a light out” and “what party are you going to?” as examples of messages one might send another driver. And they concede not all messages sent will be pleasant.

“U need glasses” or “Stop picking your nose. We can see you,” come to mind as possibilities.

“I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?” is another, as lamo wannabe posers find yet another avenue, or airwave, at the local cruise strip. (If you’re not from a small town, the phrase “cruise strip” may not make sense. It’s where teenagers go to when the mall’s closed.)

Just like other social networks, PL8Scan members can set up online profiles if they want to be stalked further.

What was the impetus behind such an invention? Necessity, of course.

“For the most part, any type of car-to-car communication has been impossible,” says PL8Scan founder Steve Wagner. “We’ve been relegated to crude hand signals, facial gestures and maybe – if we’re lucky – a few seconds of talk time while at a stop light.

“And what about a place for singles to meet other singles? We all work in such a busy world, opening up a new communication option while driving just seemed like a great idea.”

Wagner says the inherent anonymity of cars can allow people to behave differently than they would in other social situations. For example, when my windows are rolled up, I can shout profane things as loud as I want and not start a fight with the largest head ever to don a John Deere cap or sit menacingly in front of a gun rack.

Sometimes there’s a place for bad communication.

And if you’re wondering which SOB in this line of traffic just sent you a text message reading “U suck,” it’s probably the guy that just rear-ended you as he worked on his second message, “watch out!”


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