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Friday, May 13, 2005

stupid santa fe cell phone law

Any weekend that begins with getting pulled over for talking on the cell phone does not bode well.
So, it's like 4 pm, I'm coming down St. Francis Drive. I'm just about to get off the phone, which has been on speaker, but I can't hear my friend very well, so I'm signing off and, lo and behold, I see the sirens. I try, politely, to pull onto the curb to avoid causing a big backup on St. Francis, which the officer interprets as me trying to get away from him (how? pull onto the curb, jump out of the car and leap over fences?) and comes over the loudspeaker thing: "Pull over the vehicle!" which made me feel like an escaped convict.
Anyway, once pulled over, Officer Garcia was very nice, possibly because I looked and was acting extremely freaked out. It's interesting, as a colleague was just noting, that in theory we should feel safer when dealing with police, but many people, including myself, feel completely scared and nervous, even when there's no reason to do so. Yes, I was breaking the law but a) it's a very dumb law and b) it's not like I'm a drug runner or something or even someone w/out insurance. Sigh. Anyway, as noted many times, I do think it's a tedious law. There's no law against holding other things in one's hand while driving (coffee, cigarettes, burritos), which indicates people think that it's the talking part of the phone/hand relationship that leads to accidents. But you're allowed to talk on the phone if you use a hands-free device. It's illogical and, according to another colleague, has not been proven to reduce accidents. Also, it's irritating to use the hands-free devices and, IMO, way more distracting. Does anyone in the world agree with me? Really, I want to know. Everywhere I go I see people talking on the phone while driving and yet the police are out in full force pulling us over. Shouldn't people support the laws that govern their lives? I support DWI laws and, um, laws against murder and crimes against people and such. But I just don't believe that talking on the phone makes me a worst driver. Of course, I should probably mention that, according to everyone who has ever been in a car with me, I'm a pretty bad driver to begin with. (I actually disagree; I think they are reacting to the fact that I have a bad sense of direction).
So I'm out $101, although the cop talked me into (for some reason) going to court to try to get the fine and points reduced on my license. He seemed to think I would fare well in court and was thus, clearly, not an avid SFR reader or one of my secret fans (who are either very good at being secret or are just plain nonexistent, and probably the latter). For if he was he would probably guess that my prognosis in Fran Gallegos' court are dubious or, at least, 50/50. On the one hand, she does know me. On the other hand, we've made fun of her a decent amount in our 7 Days column. And by we I mean me. Oh well. I guess sarcasm, like crime, rarely pays off.