What California Drivers Can Do With Their Free Hands

by Venomous Kate

Earlier this month, California’s hands-free law went into effect. Drivers in the Golden State must now use Bluetooth headsets or similar devices to ensure their hands are available for driving. This measure, they’re being told, will save 300 lives per year. Most notably, the law’s backers say, it will protect teen drivers since they’ll be prohibited from talking on the phone at all while driving, even if they use a hands-free headset.

Except, of course, like all Nanny State legislation, this one also falls short of the mark. The law, for instance, does not prevent those teens from talking to their passengers and, really, how many teens drive around alone? It does not stop them from wearing Emo hair blocking at least half of their vision. Or from performing that ridiculous head bop that signifies they’re listening to music and which, really, is no different from the Night at the Roxbury head bop their parents perform except that it moves front-to-back and is, inevitably, accompanied by hip-hop music.

Nor does the law make it illegal to send, read or type text messages while driving. It does not even stop iPhone users from tapping away as they surf the net. Toyota Corolla owners can still use the touch-guided DVD navigation system to flip through their favorite songs. GPS addicts can stare at their screens as they navigate turn-by-turn, arguing with the dang thing whenever the system’s directions are blatantly wrong.

Got one of those in-dash car DVD players, too? No problem: it’s still legal for you to watch the Best of Hooters (2008) while motoring down I-9 (presumably with at least one hand still available).

But, hey, you’ll be safe from all those folks who gab incessantly over their cell phones now that they’ll be using Bluetooth accessories to ensure their hands are free to drive. Right?



11 Responses to “What California Drivers Can Do With Their Free Hands”

  1. it’s still legal for you to watch the Best of Hooters (2008) while motoring down I-9 (presumably with at least one hand still available)

    heh heh heh

  2. I know (a) my locality (San Diego) is only giving out warnings until the end of the month. I know (b) bluetooth headset manufacturers leapt for joy at the news. A few local stores sold out between the end of june and the beginning of July.

    I know I still don’t have a bluetooth yet. That’s fine with me; I pretty much refuse to talk on the phone while driving, always have. I make exceptions for my family, and I use the speakerphone (which is still legal).

    I know the law won’t do much to curb the issues it’s intended to curb.

    bens last blog post..International WordPress Day

  3. I would never wear one of those things in my ear,it makes the person look like they are talking to themselve….maybe they are lol

  4. I don’t know about these headsets…isn’t it like turning your whole head into a cellphone antenna? My head gets hot enough talking on the phone as it is.

    Nanny legislation pisses me off….especially this one…there are more things that can distract drivers than a stupid cell phone. Soon we will need the “Homer”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:The_Homer_by_Carlos_Bisquertt.jpg

    Separate compartments for the kids…love it 🙂

    Steves last blog post..Zombies!

  5. I know that I am an electronics gadget freak, but this is one area where I’m an absolute Luddite. I don’t want phones in the car at all. I’m pretty sure that I would like to strangle the person that came up with the concept that allows people to believe that it is a good thing to be available on the phone 24/7, everywhere on the globe (including the crapper at a restaurant). The overwhelming majority of near accidents that I have been involved in during the past 3 yeas have been with another driver attempting to make a turn or a lane change with one hand on the wheel and the other jamming the phone against their ear. Bluetooth just turns ’em into babbling zombies. Bah!

    Jeffs last blog post..Don’t Be a Gasoline Retard

  6. I’ve got one of those Bluetooth thingies and have to say that they seem to make me even more dangerous behind the wheel. I drive extra-cautiously when I’ve got a phone pressed to my ear — which is almost never, since I’m notorious for how much I hate talking on the phone.

    But there’s something more dangerous about my driving when I’m having a hands-free conversation. Maybe it’s because I’m talking to someone who doesn’t know to pause and say, “Hey, keep your eye on the road!” or to see visual clues (like my clenched jaw and drop-dead scowl) that might warn them to pause the conversation when, say, some idiot cuts me off without signaling.

  7. I rarely use the phone in the car, but when I do I just put it on speakerphone and put the phone in my lap. It works for the most part. I did use Bluetooth for a while and found that I was VERY distracted while driving. Not so much when I use the speakerphone.

    Jaynees last blog post..He’s Not The Only One

  8. I’ve used phones in cars since the early 70s, well before the cell phone era. All you have to do is decide which is more important – your conversation or your safety. Drop the conversation, don’t answer… if the driving situation is more intense than a deserted interstate.

    A little common sense is all that is needed.

    Donna B.s last blog post..I Hate Comcast

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