COMMENTS: Washington Wheels

ABC anchor Charles Gibson continued his road trip, anchoring again from Seattle. CBS anchor Katie Couric took the day off, with Harry Smith substituting. Smith anchored from New York but, by coincidence, both CBS and ABC filed a feature on the weird motorists of Washington State. CBS' Sandra Hughes told us that the state's drivers are so Blackberry-happy that they try to text-message while behind the wheel. Legislators there "decided it was time to put the brakes on driving-while-texting" after a five-car pile-up caused by a Blackberry. Hughes cited AAA safety statistics: "Anything that takes your eyes off the road for more than two seconds doubles your risk of a crash."

ABC's Neal Karlinsky (subscription required) told us about a second way to get a ticket in Washington: try to cut in line at a Puget Sound ferry terminal. The Granite State is so polite and laid back--Gibson told us the attitude is dubbed "Northwest Nice"--that they do not even jaywalk there. So jumping the queue to get on a boat is downright unWashingtonian. Worse punishment than a fine, cops send cheaters to the back to wait in line all over again. "Sometimes playground rules work best."


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