Saturday, July 19, 2008

Driving While Inattentive

As of July 1st, almost three weeks ago, California drivers will be slapped with stiff fines if they are caught driving with a cell phone in their hand. Hands free devices are permitted for drivers over the age of 18; drivers aged 18 and under are not permitted to use cell phones at all.

If the CHP and police cruisers are driving the same routes I am and keeping their eyes open, we ought to make enough money to make the state's budget deficit go away by September. It looks to me as if no one has put down their cell phone long enough to miss a single word. Jay Leno put a camera up at an intersection the first week of the ban and showed the results on the Tonight Show. The camera caught at least one of every three drivers talking on cell phones held in their hands. Last week I was waiting in a left-turn-only lane to enter a freeway when a flatbed truck bearing a 40 foot shipping container made a left out of the freeway exit to my right at about 50 mph. Despite the fact that he was driving a huge vehicle and making a tight turn too fast under an overpass , I saw the driver holding his cell phone and chatting away as he whipped by. Had his truck only had an invitation to comment on "how's my driving?", I would have been happy to do that. That is, after I pulled to the curb and parked the car before picking up my cell phone.


MaryWalkerBaron said...

I personally think it is a miracle any of us arrive home in one piece considering what goes on behind the wheels of other cars on the road.

Miss Crabby Pants said...

Me? I turn the radio up as loud as it will go and sing at the top of my lungs. It may be distracting, and possibly quite dangerous, but at least I've got both hands on the wheel.

Anonymous said...

The trouble with the law is that it only applies if you are caught talking on the phone. It does not apply when you take your phone out of your handbag, put it in your hand and dial the number of the person you want to call. Doing all of this is more distracting than speaking on the phone!