What the Hands-Free Law is Really About

I remember my first car phone. It was in my 1993 Honda Civic, and it was sweet, and oh so convenient; the squishy green buttons were a beacon in the dark that made it clear that with a phone in my car, I’d ‘arrived’. How did I ever live without one before? After an evening out, and a couple of beers, suddenly my old drinking buddies in Singapore weren’t so far away. When I’d been out to The Bottom Line, a gay bar in Ft. Myers, FL, and I’d struck out all night, I’ll be damned if I couldn’t reach phone sex chat lines on my cell. That was fun. I was ruined. In a matter of a few months I racked up a $3,000 phone bill which went into collection, and had it taken out of my car.

Yesterday, July 1st, California’s Hands-Free Phone law went into effect, which means that you can be stopped and ticketed for holding a phone to your ear while you drive. Cars with Bluetooth, Bluetooth headsets, and corded earpieces are all okay.

The drive to work was pretty much the same as usual, and I didn’t notice anyone on their cell phones. I hadn’t charged up my headset, so I left it at home. It’s not that comfortable anyway. On the way home from work, again, I didn’t see anyone on the phone, and the traffic flowed. My drive home was 10 minutes shorter.

This could be a coincidence, so I’m keeping my eyes open for the rest of the week, just to see.

What this new law has taught me, in a single day, is that it’s okay to be unavailable for an hour. It’s okay to not be multi-tasking. It’s also okay not to be constantly entertained. I used to leaf through my phone just to see who I would keep me company on the ride home. I’m sure my phone bill will be less now, and my ride is more pleasant.

I might leave that headset at home after all, and just not take calls while I’m driving, with the exception of long trips of course, just to increase the peace. Ahhhh.

2 Responses to “What the Hands-Free Law is Really About”

  1. Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Gosh, it is only just happening in California.
    They banned hand held devices while driving (mobile phones that is) about 3 years ago in Australia. But let me tell you it is a good thing, mind you many drivers still chat away while driving even now-a-days.

    Wholly Rack up a Bill! $3000! You could have flown a top escort to & from your location and included an over night stay. LOL I think we all racked up a large bill when we first got mobiles. Just not quite as much as $3000. *winks*

  2. 2 Jonathan
    Saturday, July 5, 2008 at 4:39 am

    Thanks, Billy. I now feel so much better about myself. When I discovered phone sex lines, I racked up monthly bills of $600 or $700, which I couldn’t come close to affording. I remember searching for recyclable bottles just so I could turn them in an get some gas for my car, because the phone bills had me completely tapped.

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