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No texting while driving? WTH will I do now?

Submitted by on Saturday, 3 January 2009 2 Comments

Now that California has closed the most stoopit legal loophole in the history of driving laws, I don’t know how on Earth I’m going to keep myself occupied on the road.

Since Thursday, it’s been illegal to drive and text message in the Golden State.

It’s been illegal to drive and use the cell phone since July — sort of — but now texting on the road is a no-no, too.

I say “sort of,” because it never was illegal to scroll through a contact list to find and dial phone numbers — not that many people actually dial numbers these days. And it never was illegal to talk on the phone.

It was, however, illegal to hold the phone to your ear, thus creating a boom business last year for California Bluetooth dealers.  Speaker phones also qualified as “hands-free devices,” though retailers never talked up that part. And why would they when they could sell more equipment by failing to mention it?

I bit on the whole Bluetooth thing before I realized that particular loophole, though the Bluetooth sits uncharged in the tiny corner of turbo purse the guys allow me to use. I simply don’t have the patience to learn to use it — not that it has a tremendous learning curve, but there are more useful tasks I’d rather tackle. Like alphabetizing my spices.

I’m weird when it comes to technology — I think it’s a generational thing. I’ll adapt, and quickly, when it’s useful. The ability to filling my head with chatter 24-7 never has struck me as particularly useful. Really, with two kids around, silence is a blessed break at times.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with my cell phone as well. Access in case of emergency: Great. Access to inquire where I am when I’m five minutes late: Evil.

I’ve never gotten into texting either, though as hopelessly Twitter-addicted as I am I know that day’s coming. But not until I switch to a plan with a better messaging deal or the carriers stop profiteering on the packages.

And there are always enough diversions in my car that I can keep entertained without texting. Except for the odd three-hour drive home, I don’t have time to talk, much less text, between referring spats, playing DJ and keeping my eyes on the road.

Even the latest law still has a loophole, though. It’s still legal to surf the Web or play games while driving. So I suppose if the guys happen to take simultaneous naps, the radio fails, the CD player skips and my coffee cup’s empty, I still will be able to find amusement.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • ParentingPink said:

    Oh, thank God there is someone else out there that doesn’t know how to use a Bluetooth (even though I too have one) and is “mentally challenged” when it comes to texting! LOL

    Actually, here outside DC, texting & celling while driving is still legal, but in the district, it’s not. So everytime we “cross the line” we have to pull out the bluetooth’s – not an easy feat for my hubby since he commutes there frequently.

    Sorry you Californians lost your ability to text while driving, but hey, at least you won’t have to deal with the Brittany Spears drivers who text constantly and cause accidents. LOL

  • Debra said:

    A Bluetooth simply takes too much finger-brain coordination for me.

    The one time I seriously tried it was in my kitchen — for some odd reason probably related to having two kids, I tend to need hands-free more at home than in the car — and I wound up tapping “redial” instead of “hang up” before I took the thing out of my ear and sat it on the counter. Where it proceeded to redial my mom for the next 20 minutes.

    Luckily, we still had a land line back then, so she was able to call and find out what was going on. Otherwise, she would have alerted the National Guard. Also luckily, I hadn’t said anything insulting while our kitchen chatter was hitting her live. :)