How far from the ear is “to the ear?”

The in basket: Barb Coombs e-mailed in early June to say, “A friend and I were having a discussion after we saw someone driving and holding the phone away from his ear as he was talking on it.
“I said that was now illegal and she said, no, it was OK, since it was not up to his ear and he was on speakerphone.
“I was under the impression that hands-free meant that you were not using your hands to talk on the phone.  She looked it up in the RCW’s and evidently she is right… long as the phone is not up to your ear, you are legal.  That doesn’t make sense to me  at all!”
The out basket: I doubt that there is a definitive answer to just how far from the ear the phone can be held to make its use legal, but the law does specify “held to the ear” as the infraction. Other use of the hands, such as to listen and talk on speaker phone, is not forbidden.
I would imagine different courts would rule differently should a citation be appealed for almost having a cell phone to one’s ear while driving
By happenstance, I came across the following in the June 17 edition of The Week magazine, which got it from Under Tip of the Week, it had this to say about reducing health impacts from cell phone radiation:
“Give your phone some space…User manuals typically advise against direct contact. Holding a cell phone 2 inches from your ear reduces the radiation “by a factor of four.'”
One more reason not to drive with a cell phone to your ear.
As to whether the cell phone law makes sense, I’d hate to have to defend its logic. Dialing a number, which I always have found to create the greatest peril while driving, is not forbidden.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

(Not a trick question) What color is the pink house?