Friday, June 22, 2007

Put Down that Phone!

We live in the LA area and today a co-worker handed me a sheet with all the newest driving fines that take effect July 1st. The one that worries me is that cell phone use while driving must be "hands free" and if you get caught, the ticket is $285. Ever since I backed into my sister's car in my parents' driveway with my recently purchased vehicle while I was searching for a ringing cell phone, I've avoided talking on the phone and driving. I've also told my sons that no phone call is so important that you have to answer it while driving. They were in the backseat at the time of my accident, so even though it cost me $500 for the insurance deductible, I think it taught them a lesson. Unfortunately I don't have the same control over Basil. He has a fairly long commute to work and often calls me to ease the boredom ("Tell me a story," is how he usually starts the conversation). Also, his phone isn't new enough to have hands free technology. I could switch phones with him since my phone is bluetooth ready, but his has been dropped so many times that it looks like a family of bears mauled it for a week.

Also mine has cool ring tones.

As a $285 ticket is not in our budget, I guess Basil will just have to use patience and make phone calls before he leaves work or wait until he gets home. He definitely doesn't want to have to blog about having to pay a $285 ticket.

And I would make him.

Was doing a little research on this info, and I've found that the law doesn't go into effect until 7/1/08. There is conflicting information, so to be safe, I think I'll advise Basil to start now....just in case.


FrugalBabe said...

Ouch. $285 would be a bummer of a ticket. His phone might be too old for BlueTooth, but can he just get an earbud with a wire that goes to the phone? Old fashioned, I know, but it does the trick. He could just put the phone on the seat beside him and be able to keep both hands on the wheel. Dialing is still manual with the older phones, but maybe he could promise to only dial at traffic lights? Then if he really needed a story on his way to work, at least it wouldn't cost $285. Another option for a long commute is audio books. Our library has a ton of books on cd and tape. Those are free - very budget friendly.

Bianca Bizarro said...

I know! When I had a commute of 1 hour 15 minutes, I loved audio books. He does, too, but he always forgets to pick one out when he goes to the library. I'll have to order him one, so when he picks up his books, it's already there.