Missing the Point

I entered New York state today and noted the sign saying, "No using hand-held cellphones while driving." I was struck by how odd this law is. I mean, I've always found the tricky part of using the cell in the car is dialing, because you need to look away from the road. Isn't that just as hard on a phone set in a little holder by the stick? On the other hand, the part of using the two that's different, the talking, is no problem for driving when using a hand held at all -- at least no more than holding a cup of coffee or a sandwich.

And why don't we have a law against changing the radio station or rewinding a CD while driving? (Note: If you are a New York State legislator, please be aware that the previous sentence is an example of sarcasm.)


  1. Anonymous9:12 AM

    It's no joke. Here in London, there are cameras everywhere. If you are photographed eating a packet of crips whilst sitting in your car in a traffic jam, you may be prosecuted. There was a recent case to that effect.

    Meanwhile, a man got a three year prison sentence, half of it suspended (so that he serves 18 months at most) for punching to death a Sri Lankan tourist who accidentally trod on the killer's son's foot.


    Thus does the State protect us and enforce justice.

  2. Isn't "whilst" one of those British card games?

  3. Anonymous5:54 PM

    Is "rewinding a CD" anything like "dialing a telephone?" I'd say either literal activity is dangerous "whilst" driving.

    It appears that the State, through the public library system, encourages listening to books on tape. (Usually they're on CD) There are two times I've fallen asleep at the wheel, and both were whilst listening to long narrations. It worth noting that I've only listened to long spoken narrations twice whilst driving. I'm a much better driver whilst drunk and rewinding CDs.

  4. Anonymous10:36 PM

    This is all very comforting. Please warn me before you get on the road and I will avoid those byways.
    Get this - you can now get a GPS device that is also a DVD player. Now why would you need a DVD player in the front seat is beyond me. I think we need legislation for this...

  5. Anonymous11:15 PM

    I don't think I could use the GPS and watch a DVD at the same time. I find enough challenge in trying to reload my ipod from my laptop while doing 80.

    Call me old fashioned, but I still love to read the newspaper while in heavy traffic.

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