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Cell Phone Abuse

New York passed a law banning the use of hand-held mobile telephones while driving and Los Angeles recently passed it as well – But I’ve noticed people are pretty much ignoring it. We’re still in the grace period so hopefully soon I’ll start seeing blatent law breakers getting pulled over. Now many states are considering hopping on the no phones while driving bandwagon. Personally, I think it’s a good idea. It’s too bad that we actually need this law because you’d think that most people wouldn’t need to be told their constant phone use is interfering with their driving. It’s common sense. But, clearly it’s not the people with common sense that are the ones abusing their cell phones. The guy in the two toned ‘95 Honda Prelude who’s rolling calls – I mean, who are you talking to anyway? Your pot dealer? How about putting the two hundred dollars you spend on your cell phone bill every month into at least a new paint job?

I can see making a quick call now and then but a lot of people take it way too far. This law is for you Blondie Mom in the Lincoln Navigator bitching out your nanny and blocking traffic while I’m trying to turn into the parking lot at Ralphs to buy another tub of Nestle’s Good Starts.

I wish the dirty looks cell phone abusers got from people were incentive enough. The most offensive part to me is that these entitled people are so busy yammering they don’t even notice when you flip them the bird. I realize I sound like Archie Bunker right now but it is a pet peeve.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you are being forced to steer with your thumb then you are doing too many things. Snub the cigarette out, put your lip gloss away, stop fidgeting with the radio, you can change Dave Matthew’s to Matchbox 20 when you get to a red light, put down the yogurt, commit the directions to memory, and pull over to the side of the road while you’re writing a text, Unfortunately the law doesn’t cover that and MAKE YOUR DAMN CALL.

Cause you know that stupid old person, or Asian, or woman that you just put your phone down to scream at out the window? Well, guess what, – you are that person, my friend. They say that talking on your phone while driving is worse than driving drunk so for god sakes at least don’t talk on the phone while you’re drunk driving.

P.S. I am still doing Dear Crabby on Friday so if you have a situation, send it my way at babyonbored@gmail.com

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on August 11, 2008 10:58 pmUncategorized35 comments  

35 Comments

  1. Willow said,

    Here in Britain we’ve had this law for quite some time now, although sadly I still seem to see as many drivers talking on hand held mobiles – hands free kits are free with virtually every phone now so I just don’t get it – and taxi drivers seem to be the worst.

    | August 11, 2008 @ 11:25 pm

  2. Middle Aged woman said,

    I just read willow’s comment with a (London, public school) English accent. Could have done Cornwall or Yorkshire. Way too much free time here.

    It’s been hands-free only in Detroit for about a year now. No word on the impact (or lack thereof). Mostly I think they did it to enhance the revenue stream, what with needing to bail the mayor out of jail and all.

    | August 11, 2008 @ 11:34 pm

  3. Kim/2 Kids said,

    Seattle went hands free at the same time CA did, July 1st. I have to say that I am guilty, guilty, guilty of talking on my phone. I am not chewing out my nanny but making those many “catching up” phone calls to everyone I routinely neglect. Purchasing an ear piece was the best investment I’ve made in a long time.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 12:08 am

  4. SBC said,

    Oddly enough, I was in LA the weekend they passed that law… it was all over the news and radio and what not. We still get to talk on our cell phones and drive gas guzzling trucks and drink beer (from a can) while driving down here in Texas… Anyway… we left on a Tuesday and while we were driving to the airport we passed THREE cops all talking on their cell phones while driving… among the other drivers driving next to the cops-on-phones on their phones as well. I figured they were leading by example. Seems like an uphill battle for sure.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 1:02 am

  5. CaraBee said,

    We don’t have that law here in Maryland. I am all for it, though, as this is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. The phrase pet peeve actually minimizes how much this bothers me. What really gets me is when I see cops driving down the road on their phones. They tried to pass a rule that cops couldn’t talk on personal cell phones while driving and the union rep or somebody actually went on the news saying there was no anecdotal evidence saying that it was dangerous to talk on the phone. Are you fucking kidding me? Kills me.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 1:45 am

  6. Ms Picket To You said,

    I do NOT cell phone while driving. Mostly because I hate talking on the phone period. So, I’m lucky that way.

    Frankly, I do not understand why I have a phone I never answer.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 1:57 am

  7. AndBabyWillMake4 said,

    Amen to everything you’ve said! I wish it would be nationwide. Here in GA it is county by county, and honestly half the people can’t drive, no matter what county you are in!

    | August 12, 2008 @ 3:29 am

  8. Backpacking Dad said,

    It’s illegal throughout California, not just a city ordinance in LA. And I saw a bunch of people pulled over for it in the first two weeks of July, but almost nothing since then.

    It’s just another thing to get a ticket for if they feel like giving out tickets.

    The hands-free stuff doesn’t even really help, since the problem isn’t that the phone takes up one of the driver’s hands, but that talking on the phone takes up half the driver’s attention. And that is true whether on a hands-free or not.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 3:43 am

  9. anymommy said,

    This law just went into affect in WA state. I support it. What cracks me up? My husband calling me when he knows I’m in the car and then yelling at me for answering illegally. That’s not distracting at all.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 5:04 am

  10. www.startswithanx.com said,

    Just talking on cell phones? Phew, I can still text while driving. :)

    | August 12, 2008 @ 5:14 am

  11. Count Mockula said,

    I agree with Backpacking Dad. And it is ridiculous that there’s a texting loophole. That’s even more distracting than talking!

    | August 12, 2008 @ 5:21 am

  12. ct said,

    It’s in legislation right now here in OK…hopefully, it’ll pass.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 5:34 am

  13. jeanie said,

    We have had that law for years here.

    I tell you, knowing its the law doesn’t make anyone think twice – but that $75 fine really helps you remember.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 6:11 am

  14. Sleep Deprivation Ninja said,

    The law has been in the works for so long in Seattle, I thought it had already gone into effect. Now that it is, studies are showing that the real danger in driving is people texting at the wheel. Texting? Yep. People do it. That’s why the lawmakers turn to Sleep Deprivation Ninja to kick some ass while they spend the next 3 years passing a “No Texting” law.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 8:02 am

  15. Lil Mouse said,

    Amen! I’ve complained about this before. 9 times out of 10 (or more), when someone cuts in front of us, forgets to use a signal and takes appx 6 years to get into the turn lane holding up traffic, or tailgates/slows down 300 yards before a light almost causing an accident, you guessed it, they are on a cell phone. We do everything possible to avoid being on the phone. If my hubby’s phone rings, I mute the radio, and he’ll take it, but he talks for less than a minute or if it is going to take longer, then he passes it to me and I relay the information to the person. It helps that he hates to talk on the phone. When we were behind an obviously ill/drunk driver, I did insist that he make the call, but we stayed well enough back so as not to interfere with their obviously bad driving.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 12:07 pm

  16. The Mommy said,

    Originally, I thought the law should only apply to men, since I’m pretty sure women can do ANYTHING and talk on the phone…

    I’ve since reconsidered, but still.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 1:02 pm

  17. Lucrecia said,

    Amen! And its not just texting that remains a problem! With my blackberry I can still check e-mail, post to my blog, read others. Talk about distracting! I don’t do it while driving, but I did find myself wanting to show my husband funny pictures I run across!

    | August 12, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

  18. Amy in Ohio said,

    It’s time to assemble your campaign team and run for office.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 2:36 pm

  19. Carolyn...Online said,

    My daugher made a sign that read: “Hang up and drive dammit” and put it out the back window on our way down to Florida. Where oh where could she have heard that phrase???

    | August 12, 2008 @ 2:45 pm

  20. tysdaddy said,

    I’ve stayed out of the loop concerning the new cell phone technology on purpose. I have one, and it’s quite basic. No wireless earpiece. Crappy camera. Spotty reception. For I know if I were to upgrade I would be tempted to waste even more time . . .

    | August 12, 2008 @ 2:49 pm

  21. Anonymous said,

    I think the blonde woman in the Lincoln Navigator is a clone. I see her everywhere.

    She scares me.

    Lisa

    | August 12, 2008 @ 4:18 pm

  22. cIII said,

    That’s why every year I ask for a Bazooka for Christmas. And every year, I’m brokenhearted and still have to dodge these a-holes.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 4:38 pm

  23. Jennifer said,

    There is a whole fleet of Blondie Moms on Cell Phones in Lincoln Navigators in my neighborhood. It makes pick-up time after school an utter nightmare.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 6:20 pm

  24. 'That Girl' said,

    The thought of people texting while driving is SO much scarier than someone talking while driving.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 7:43 pm

  25. Becky said,

    One of my coworkers smokes while talking on the phone and driving with her knees. You just can’t plan on other drivers being reasonable.
    Becky

    | August 12, 2008 @ 8:10 pm

  26. Diane said,

    This is a pet peeve of mine too–especially people driving oversized vehicles trying to make a tight turn onto a small street. I’ve seen men shaving while driving, women applying mascara–yikes, don’t slip!, and the oddest so far was last week when the woman behind me was eating a slice of pizza that was in one hand while the other was holding the plate. I guess she was steering with her toes. It’s crazy!

    | August 12, 2008 @ 9:38 pm

  27. Melissa said,

    The unfortunate part (according to me) of WA’s new law is that it’s not a primary offense. You can’t be pulled over just for talking on your cell phone, you have to be talking and breaking some other law–speeding, etc. Not that it’s a big stretch for the cop to find something, but I haven’t seen it happen around here.

    It doesn’t appear to me that the law has cut down on cell phone use while driving at all. Until the law actually has “teeth”, it’s not going to do any good.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 10:09 pm

  28. Rachel said,

    Talking on the phone used to drive me nuts until I kept encountering people TEXTING! Seriously, can’t you wait 10 minutes?

    I’d like to invent a device that renders phones unusable in the driver’s seat while the car is operating.

    | August 12, 2008 @ 11:15 pm

  29. Amanda said,

    Ok, here is my deal with the cell phone law….
    what is the difference between having your hands on the wheel and hands on the phone? Your mind is still thinking about the conversation. My second grip is what about kids? As in children. I have 6 younger brothers and sisters, they are a HUGE distraction when driving. You and I both know when you have a screaming infant and toddler in your backseat you are trying anything to calm them down. Or what about eat and driving. You spill mustard and look down for a spilt second, bam your in an accident. How about changing the radio? I just don’t think cell phones can be the sole cause. I also wish they would go after drink drivers like they are to people on cell phone.  

    | August 13, 2008 @ 3:04 am

  30. sarah said,

    Husband pimped my car out all blue-tooth-like and it FREAKS me out when my phone rings through the speaker.

    But I will adapt. Beats the hell out of slamming into a concrete barrier…

    | August 13, 2008 @ 5:02 am

  31. Threeundertwo said,

    The cell phoners drive me so crazy. Since my kids will be driving soon, I point them out all day every day as part of my ongoing “drive safely” spiels.

    “see that person weaving?”
    “see that person driving too slowly for traffic?”
    “see that person turning from the wrong lane?”
    “see that person drifting?”

    All of them on cell phones. If you’re talking on the phone, hands free or not, you are impaired and you need to stop.

    | August 13, 2008 @ 1:32 pm

  32. Cathy said,

    Here in Phoenix, we are not allowed to text and drive at the same time. No rule on the driving while talking though… yet…I drive and talk, however I am not stupid about it either. Since I use my cell as my primary phone for work (claims adjuster) so I have to take calls all the time. However I do pull over pretty close to every call I make.

    | August 15, 2008 @ 5:48 am

  33. EMFreview.com said,

    Great post. Not only can cell phones be distracting while driving but they can also be harmful to your brain. Especially small childrens’. I just posted a few blogs about the dangers of cell phone use during pregnancy, etc.

    http://emfreview.com/

    | September 22, 2008 @ 5:53 pm

  34. Sutton said,

    Here is the direct link: http://emfreview.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=1474&PostID=25334

    | September 23, 2008 @ 5:48 pm

  35. eda said,

    thnks

    | December 22, 2008 @ 8:02 am

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