I hope you poor naive dears don't think matters have gotten better on our highways. I mean, just because it's been a while since I reported the wacky things people do while driving, you shouldn't assume that motorists have started paying attention to the road. Because they haven't. Oh, how they haven't! Evidence:

Carl Kramer was plying the Beltway near Vienna when he saw a weaver -- and we aren't talking about a guy who makes afghans.

"I whipped past to see him shelling -- and eating -- peanuts while driving," Carl writes.

Insult to injury: It was the second time within a matter of days that Carl had witnessed the same "nutty" performance by a Beltway motorist.

Exhibit B is Kramer again, this time on Interstate 66, where he spied a guy (Carl calls him "a stupe") reading the paper while driving.

And it wasn't just any paper, Carl says. It was the Daily Racing Form. Which, as any horseplayer knows, demands careful scrutiny. Which, as any motorist knows, is tough to give to anything other than the road when you're whistling along at 55 (or, truth to tell, 60-plus).

To see if an expert had any comment on this one, I sought out Andrew Beyer, The Post's man-about-the-racetrack.

"Whaddaya think, Andy?" I asked, after recounting the tale.

"Nothing unusual about it," said Beyer. "Guy was probably late for the daily double."

He's going to be late in the most permanent way of all if he doesn't shape up.

The reading-while-driving bug bites the professionals as well as the plungers, it seems.

Marge Olson of Northwest reports that one morning in March, the driver of a Metrobus was reading the latest copy of Metro News (the transit system's house organ) while piloting a 34 bus south on Wisconsin Avenue between Newark Street and Massachusetts Avenue.

Comment, Metro?

"I thank Olson for providing enough information so that we can identify the driver easily," says Marilyn Dicus of Metro public affairs. "We encourage employes to better themselves in any way that they can. We're happy that they're interested in our own publications and read them avidly. But we don't condone reading and driving at the same time, and will take the proper measures to ensure that our operators keep their eyes on the road when they're supposed to."

Just a couple of miles from the scene of that crime, Penny Pennington of Arlington witnessed another -- this one featuring a woman who was endangering a child, as well as the motorists around her.

Driving on Western Avenue, between Connecticut and Wisconsin, Penny fell in behind a white Pontiac Firebird that was "maneuvering rather strangely."

Little wonder. When Penny drew abreast of the car to see what was going on, she saw a child, about two, standing in the lap of the female driver, "helping" her steer the car.

Hey, I know it's tough to quiet down a toddler. But this is definitely not the way.

Most tape cassettes I know don't respond well to repeated beatings. But that's what Betsy Miller of Bethesda saw the other day on Old Georgetown Road.

Apparently the driver of a blue VW bus was the peeved possessor of a tape player that wasn't dispensing sound. So, as Betsy watched from the next lane in amazement, the driver decided to solve the problem by bashing a tape cassette against the dashboard several times. All this at 40 miles an hour, of course.

And how about this wild one from beautiful downtown Vienna?

Mireille DuBois was heading toward Tysons Corner on Route 7 when she pulled alongside an orange Karmann Ghia. Behind the wheel was a bald man in a military uniform.

As he zoomed along at freeway speed, the guy was shaving his head with an electric razor.

What to do? "When I see situations such as this," writes Judy Grimes of Suitland, who saw two reading-while-driving incidents recently, "I purposely look around for a police officer. If I ever find one, I'm going to turn in those culprits."

As should we all.