January 12, 2009

(Picture of California) (Circle With Line Through it Around Heart) (Picture of Cellphone)

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:31 am by Ian

California, which recently banned texting while driving, presumably because trying to read and write while driving is distracting and leads to accidents, has advertised this change with large signs on the side of the road.

The DMV’s summary of the law (emphasis mine)

Writing, sending, or reading a text-based communication while driving will be against the law for all drivers in California.



  1. Dad said,

    How will I ever find out what street to turn at without reading the text-based street signs? Oh, no wait, they’re not “electronic”. But what about those flashing trailer things that sit at the side of the road and tell us about road work to be done? Or the one on 101 in Marin that tells me how many minutes it will take me to get to Berkeley? Are they “wireless”? I don’t see any wires, but then I’m going by at 65.

    And I guess it’s fine to read my Kindle as long as I do all my downloading “wired”

    I’ve done a cursory search for the actual language of the statute and come up empty, but so many questions?

    The most egregious driving activity I ever saw was on 280 just south of SF where a guy was driving down the freeway playing the recorder. It seems to me there was sheet music propped behind the steering wheel (obscuring the instruments, And he was kind of steering with his forearms while fingering away.

    Since the recorder is not electronic, although it is wireless, and the sheet music is not text-based, I guess he’s still legal.

  2. Karen Boyd said,

    Oh dear, how will I read my GPS while driving. Or, will I all pull over each time I consult mine? And what of the old stand by the hard copy map or the old trip tick the CSAA used to give us?

    During my last senior driving safety course which CSAA offers to lower insurance rates by 5%/year for two or three years I learned I should not listen to the radio while driving or engage in conversation with other passengers. Okay. I am in for some very long trips. I used to use the conversation to keep me awake. Hmmm.

    I used to date a guy who read novels while driving. He was also very much the daredevil. On one particularly scary drive he asked how I was doing because he used me to gauge how dangerous things were. I told him not to depend on me as a barometer because I was silently preparing to die.

    I know at least one friend who looked in the rear-view mirror to check her lip gloss. The guy ahead of her threw on his brakes and she totaled her car.

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