Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cell Phones

Washington State has a hands-free only cell phone use while driving, with some exceptions for emergency personnel or emergency purposes, such as calling 911. It's been in effect since July 1, 2008, and six months after the State banned text messaging while driving, since this requires two hands and focusing on the PDA screen. These laws are very much common sense, so why do people ignore them?

Everyday I go out, if only to the local town for errands. I will always see at least one person with a cellphone stuck to their ear. And when you get them to notice it's illegal, they either get angry with you or smile and wave at you. Simply not just ignoring you and the law, but flaunting it. I've followed people who passed cops who did nothing.

The State made it clear, they're serious about cellphones, and while they watered it down as a secondary offense, meaning it can't be the primary reason you were stopped, they get your notice and can give you a warning. I've seen the State Patrol do it on the Interstate but I've yet to see a local cop give a warning.

People only think this applies to State and Interstate highways? No, the law says, "...while driving..." What's not to understand about being the driver? You're in the drivers seat with all those controls moving along or sitting at lights. Gee, what's not to understand you can only use a hands-free cellphone. They're available with all cellphones now. And cheap too.

Ok, it's a pet peeve with me. I hate them. Mine sits in my briefcase, usually off. And if it's on, the hands-free device is active there next to it. When I drive, I drive. I focus on driving. And I hate being around or near people talking on cellphones, even hands-free ones, but worse cellphones. I've been ignored or not seen by drivers because they weren't paying attention to their driving over their talking and almost caused accidents.

They're dangerous. So people please when you're driving, "Get off the fucking cellphone!"

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