Monday, June 30, 2008
The New Cell Phone Law: Stick it in Your (R)ear!
When the new cell phone law goes into effect tomorrow in California, I will be one of the very first people not to obey it. I think it’s a ridiculous law and just another example of too much government in our lives. One by one, all of our freedoms are being taken away and this is a prime example.
Pretty soon, there will be all kinds of frivolous new laws just like this one. Some day, it will be a crime if you have more than 15 items in the express lane at the grocery store; if you drop an upper decker as a joke at a house party; if you break wind on a crowded bus; if you leave snarky comments online (you’re busted, El G).
This needless and invasive piece of legislation is just another way for Big Brother to get his (or her) hand deeper into our pockets.
They say the law will prevent a lot of auto accidents, but I don’t buy it. People get into accidents for a wide range of different reasons (tailgating, speeding, being drunk, running lights, screaming at their kids, etc.) and cell phone usage is right at the bottom of those reasons, I believe. Anyone who isn’t coordinated enough to use a cell phone and drive at the same time shouldn’t be driving anyway. I can chew gum and walk simultaneously, thank you very much.
One of the things I have always done to avoid using my phone excessively while driving is to prioritize my phone usage while in the car. I look at the phone number when my cell phone rings, and if it isn’t an important call that I need to take immediately, I let it go to message and I call the person back when I am off the road. The main problem with people talking on cell phones in their cars is over usage. The majority of calls consist of drivers chatting about anything and everything—it’s not like these folks are handling business, coming up with brilliant ideas or dealing with emergency calls. I doubt that they’re discussing important topics like colonics, world peace or 12-21-12. I would predict that 80% of all cell phone conversations in the car are either meaningless or unnecessary. The cell phone law is designed for those individuals-not me.
I know that by deciding not to adhere to this new law, I am risking a ticket. Big deal--$20! Who cares? If the state was seriously considering enforcing this law, the fine would be a lot more. At first, they will be pulling people over right and left. Then, after a while, they will find better things to do. Enforcement will be spotty and inconsistent, just like the seat belt law or the headphones law.
So, join me in rejecting this silly law. We pay a lot for these cell phones and we should be able to use them whenever and wherever we want. Part of being a U.S. Citizen (as well as a Californian and a San Franciscan) includes the right to pick and choose the laws we wish to obey. If you don’t believe me, drive around SF for an hour or two and observe the chaos. As Ted Nugent once said, “It’s a Free for All!”