Okay. I may not agree with most of the nanny-state legislation we are now living under…but I understand why a few of them exist. Laws against allowing me to spend my own money on food containing transfat. Laws forbidding smoking out in wide open spaces. I do not agree with them…I would not have voted for them….but I get why enough people were so concerned they became law.
And then we have California’s SB 1613 which went into effect a few weeks ago. SB 1613 prohibits California drivers from talking on their cell phone while driving without a hands free device.
This is one law which I simply do not understand.
Anyone giving any thought to the matter realizes the problems with talking on the cell phone while driving stem from holding something in your hand other than the steering wheel…and paying attention to the conversation rather than other vehicles, bikes, pedestrians, and road conditions.
Someone explain to me how in the world the legislation of SB 1613 changes ANY of that.
I know the statistics on how distracted drivers cause accidents resulting in serious injury and death. I lost my brother to a car accident. I know the gig. But ummm…you guys and gals in Sacramento…this new law did absolutely nothing to alleviate any distractions. Truth be known, in my little life it has caused additional distractions.
First of all the conversations continue. Ya'think I am any less engaged in the conversation if I am holding the phone? Ah..no. And don’t tell me to just hang up and drive. That is not the point. The point is we now have this law that benefits nothing and no one with the possible exception of Plantronics and BlueTooth.
Truly…the conversations I have with actual people in my car are far more engaging and distracting than any cell phone discussion I may be having. Be it one of my kids, my folks, a coworker or a friend, I am paying much closer attention to them in the seats next to me and behind me than if they were merely a voice in my ear.
Is the next step to forbid talking in a moving vehicle?
While it may be illegal to hold the phone up to my ear, I still can hold the hands free device up to my ear. Ironic isn't it? My speaking voice has a very low resonance …so if the window is down or the AC is blowing…my Bluetooth only works when I hold my hand up along my chin. I already have glasses, long hair, earrings and a seat belt strap crowding that general area. Now I have some Borg apparatus as well.
I find the cold, hard, bluetooth shoved into the sensitive area of my ear cannel far more distracting than the actual phone. I’m always repositioning the angle…or adjusting the volume. The other hands free device...the one with the cord….is way fun to fiddle with…I play with the clip and pull the plastic wire through my mouth. I’m always having to retrieve the phone to dial or hang up by tugging on the cord. Half the time the cord pulls out. And then I have to plug it back in again. No distraction there.
Then there is the misguided impression we all now drive around with both hands on the wheel. C'mon. It’s not as if making my cell phone hands free results in my hands actually being free.
I can dial my phone while driving.
I can TEXT on my phone while driving.
I can take pictures with my phone while driving.
I can drink coffee.
I can smoke a cigar.
I can read the paper.
I can eat a taco or one of those hamburgers (without transfat) that drip all over the place.
I can change the CD and reprogram the GPS.
I can put on makeup or shave.
I haven’t tried to wax while driving…
but I bet someone has.
There is just about nothing I can’t do with my hands while driving around in California…except hold my cell phone up to my ear. (does your phone have vibration functionality? )
This is a stupid law.
It does nothing to curtail phone use in cars.
It does nothing to insure drivers hands are on the wheel.
It does nothing to limit distractions to drivers.
Maybe what I really ought to look for is the report detailing revenue generated by citations issued in enforcement of this bogusness.
With the California state budget two months over due…I bet that dollar amount will be enlightening.