Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hands-Free Phoning - California Law

It's finally here. In California starting July 1st it's illegal to talk on the phone while driving unless you have a hands-free device.

... whatever that means.

Do they make a hands-free cheeseburger?

Driving while phoning

Calling all cars: Be on the lookout for errant drivers fumbling for their new hands-free devices. Avoid their swerves and keep your own hands at 10 and 2. This new cellphone law is going to take some getting used to.

As pretty much every California motorist knows, today it becomes illegal to talk on the phone while driving -- unless the driver's end of the conversation takes place on equipment that leaves both hands available for the steering wheel. The law raises the sort of questions that middle school students just love: What's the point of the restriction if you still need one hand to punch in phone numbers or to insert your new earpiece? How does the law help if it remains legal to drive with a hand on the CD player, or wrapped around a breakfast burrito, or stuck out the window in a gesture toward the guy who just cut you off?

It's common sense that drivers with two hands on the wheel have more control, but that doesn't automatically mean that it's more dangerous to hold a phone than a cheeseburger. People who gab and steer at the same time become hazardous on the road because their attention is divided between the conversation and the stop sign. But that's just as true of riveting banter between the person in the driver's seat and the one riding shotgun. MORE
... still I think it's a good thang.

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