New Cell Phone Law Could Shoulder Unintended Consequences

The day police can instantly write $124 tickets for drivers talking on cell phones is rapidly approaching. But like any change in law, it may have its share of unintended effects.

One such possible outcome that worries state troopers is that people will pack the shoulders of highways, pulling off to take a phone call. That’s dangerous, says Krista Hedstrom, spokeswoman for the local Washington State Patrol district.

“It’s a huge hazard when cars are whizzing by at 60 mph,” she said.

Those that do stop may just get a parking ticket for doing so because the risk is so great, Hedstrom said.

She encourages people to find a parking lot or area that is not mere feet from high speed lanes of traffic. Or better yet, check out the deals on hands-free devices so you can keep talking while en route.

12 thoughts on “New Cell Phone Law Could Shoulder Unintended Consequences

  1. You can buy a decent bluetooth headset for around $25. There is no excuse not to be legal. When I see someone with their phone pressed to their ear, I think of them the same as I would a drunk driver. I wish the state would adopt a hotline to report violators like the litter hotline.

    Another unintended consequence will be increased arrests for folks with warrants, dui, and drug trafficking as people who get pulled over for gabbing on the phone will get caught for other nefarious deeds they are up to. Responsible people don’t use cell phones when driving.

  2. Actually, last time I checked, the original cell phones ‘hands free’ mandate only stated that the device being used must be capable of being used hands free- not actually be used hands free. So those phones with speakerphone are capable of being used hands-free and according to the original law (I haven’t looked at the wording of the revised law) would be exempt from ticketing regardless of whether or not you were using the hands-free component (ie. holding it to your ear while driving).

    I think the whole concept is ridiculous in the first place. After all, we can still put on make-up, eat, smoke, play with the radio station, or even play video games while driving if we chose to- we just can’t use a cell phone??? Get real. They had a law on the books that any police officer could have used at any time and didn’t need another one- it’s called careless driving. And if they (the driver) caused a wreck or were being particularly bad about it, they could cite them for reckless driving.

    Enough nanny state already. Next up- monitored video in your car with your own personal nanny-police officer/monitor to immediately give you an electric shock if you are breaking any distracted driving rules……

  3. You can do anything you want when you drive,but when you get stopped for “careless driving) such as applying make up be ready to pay a hefty fine.You must not have read the article a few years back where the same Lady got ticketed twice for doing make up while driving to Bangor.Driving is a privilege not a right.

  4. I personally think it’s great!!

    A few years ago some guy talking on teh cell phone pulled right out in front of me, T-boned him, er close, luckily I swerved but still had $6500 damage.

    I could have killed him, or myself!

    I never missed cell phones driving in the 80′s or 90′s, why do people have to talk so much?

    Silence is golden, shut up and drive.

  5. I turn my phone off in the car. It’s easy and it never, ever bothers you. Everyone should try it sometime.

  6. I honestly think it is silly. The whole cell phone law. You DO NOT get into an accident because your hands are “free” from the steering wheel (if that was the case, there would be no manual transmissions and window/door lock buttons would be on the steering wheel). You DO get into an accident on a cell phone for not paying attention i.e. Arguing, looking for an street address, or getting wrapped up in a conversation… You can still NOT pay attention with a hands-free device because you do not need 2 hands on the wheel to avoid an accident. I believe it is free will, like the seatbelt. Should be optional because it is YOUR body you put into a seatbelt-but I degress. I think the cell phone law is dumb and people who don’t know how to drive and keep themselves in check on the road shoould not have a license or a cell phone.

  7. this is another pathetic law dreamed up to generate more money. what’s next, a tax for every 100 miles you drive. accidents happen for all reasons i.e. looking down to put out a cigerette, looking over your left shoulder to change lanes and someone pulling out in front of you or someone not merging properly onto a highway. how about making a law to where all drivers 50 and above get yearly tests. lets ban all vehicles from having stereos so we’re not tempted to look away to change a station. they can put into law about given tickets for the size of a drinking container obstructing your view. how many police and government officials can or will be ticketed? my guess, zero!!!!!!!!! it is my RIGHT to use my phone when and where i need to. the government allowed the sales of phones and tax the heck out of it to be used. when is enough enough?

  8. This law is ridiculous. Pat is right, they have always been able to ticket someone for carless driving, but they choose not to. There has been a device around for ages htat is not hand free and has been used by professionals for a long time, it is called a CB radio (citizens band). You must have the mic in your hand to be able to talk on it. Maybe they should include this in their cell phone law if they really think that having your hand on it is the problem. As far as for Robin RESPONSIBLE people use cell phones every single day all day long. If you don’t think so then every police office that gives someone a ticket is NOT a responsible driver, and they are exempt from the law.

  9. For several years we drove between Poulsbo, Portland and Corvallis a number of times a month.

    On I-5 we saw a man reading a book,an obese guy trying to get in the back seat and their car would swerve in our lane as the driver was obese a swell and the land barge would tip as he tried to squeeze between the seats. A woman speeding and putting on mascara and too,many other stories to go into here.

    The topper was the day there was a backup on I-5 in OR. As we slowed to a stop a number of times we became aware that the van in back of us almost rear ended us every time. I finally told my husband that the driver of the van was eating french fries and she would lean down out of sight and then lick her obese fingers as she came back up. The 400 pounder+ was actually dipping the fries into something in the cup holder! We finally got away from her,but I never forgot how gross that was and scary!

    I would need pages to comment on the nutty cellphone drivers in Kitsap County. Our daughter-in-law was rear ended on Bucklin about 4 PM one afternoon by a truck.The young female driver had dived for her phone when it rang and flew out of her hand. She never hit the brakes and plowed into the car which she totaled. Thank God the grandkids were not in the back seat. Their mom still suffers from injuries years later. The truck driver did not get a ticket! The insurance company has not settled as of yet!

    Nobody in this County is so important that they need to yap while driving! The exceptions are few. Since our society ditched common sense years ago, we do need laws to protect us from stupid people.

    Just my opinion.

  10. I do not think the Government (local or otherwise) should pass laws about cell phones use in cars. When did the citizens get a vote? I agree, it is irritating when someone is driving crazy. I see smoking as more of a danger in the car. At lighted flame. When is the Government going to band smoking in cars? Eating, passing a baby bottle, etc. There are so many laws anymore. It really is not a source of revenue. Just ask who pays the court appointed attorney’s! The Government makes all these laws and then it turns arounds and defends the law breaker. Or better yet, let’s put them in jail where the tax payers can house and feed them. Really when is all this going to stop.

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