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new cell phone law starts june 10th

this is the one where it makes it a primary offense to be using your cell phone without a hands free device.

okay, fine. but i just saw on the news that state troopers don't want ppl to pull over to the shoulder to take calls either. wtf? damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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Re: new cell phone law starts june 10th

  • I'm really in support of this law, but it doesn't seem like they are giving any viable options. Maybe it's my age or something, but I don't get calls that are really that important. Most calls can wait. I'd just pick up voicemail when I am out of the car.

    Again, maybe this is just me/my age.

  • I already thought it was a primary offense!

    What if you have your phone on speaker but are holding it?

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  • From what I've heard, they can cite you for holding your phone or if they see you dialing. Any "approved" device has to be completely hands free.

    Lib, I don't get calls that are THAT important either! I don't understand why a call can't wait 5 minutes. That said, sometimes if I haven't seen DH all day or need to chat with my mom about something, I'll call them before I start driving and put the phone on speaker and stick in in my cup holder, then we can chat while I drive and I don't have to hold the phone at all. That better still be allowed!


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  • Alisha, it's only a secondary offense right now. So they can only cite you for it if they pull you over for something else, like speeding.

    I thought it was okay if you hit a button on your phone to activate voice activated dialing, though it's not like an officer can tell by watching you.. so I don't know.

    I hope it's okay to hit a button since my phone/blue tooth set up requires me to hit one button on my phone to activate the voice prompt.

    image"I've always followed my father's advice: he told me, first to always keep my word and, second, to never insult anybody unintentionally. If I insult you, you can be goddamn sure I intend to. And, third, he told me not to go around looking for trouble." -John Wayne
  • My understanding [and granted, I'm going on leave now so not in the loop :)] is that it's the same law, just moved to a primary offense.  So speaker phone is still okay...but some people hold the speaker phone up to their head still, and that would be an issue because it's hard to tell from outside the car what exactly they are doing.

    As for the side of the road thing, that's mainly on freeways.  That's because shoulders are so dangerous - WSP is worried about idiots pulling off onto the shoulder of I-90 for little calls, and not being able to merge back in safely.  Off freeway, the speeds are slower and shoulders are not as dangerous.  You should never pull off on a freeway anyway [it's a pet peeve of mine] - drive your disabled vehicle off the road if you can.  Shoulders are just a big trap for drunks, distracted drivers, etc. 

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  • I don't have many urgent calls, either, but i do have a twice-a-week drive between bellingham and tacoma: that's a lot longer than five minutes :)

    I agree with the law, but i also tend to think that most people who pay more attention to their phones than to the road aren't going to pay any more attention to driving if they are fined for using their phone (did that make sense?).  At least there will be some accountability, even if there is no major behavioral change (though i hope there is).

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  • I'm totally in favor of this law; it should have happened long ago.

    My issue is that I see local police on their cell phones all the time. The new law, the one that makes it a primary offense, states that the new law doesn't apply to emergency calls or emergency personnel. So, the police can continue to talk on their phones? I'm guessing that, if they are in the middle of an emergency, they can use their police radios. But, who's going to call out a cop for being on their phone in a patrol car?

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  • image Mrs.Rad888:

    I'm totally in favor of this law; it should have happened long ago.

    My issue is that I see local police on their cell phones all the time. The new law, the one that makes it a primary offense, states that the new law doesn't apply to emergency calls or emergency personnel. So, the police can continue to talk on their phones? I'm guessing that, if they are in the middle of an emergency, they can use their police radios. But, who's going to call out a cop for being on their phone in a patrol car?

    It was part of the original law as well that emergency personnel are exempt.  It is an issue that is being addressed by policies however; State Patrol just made it a policy violation for Troopers to talk on their phones while driving, and some other departments are following suit. 

    Side note though, that police radios are public and recorded.  Sometimes officers need to share information that can't be broadcast over the air - like certain names, details of a call or tactical planning enroute to a call.  If an officer is being dispatched to handle a suspect who may be using a scanner, the dispatcher can't put that info over the air.    That being said, not all officers are using their phones just for work.  It's a tricky subject that is being sorted out by agencies currently.

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  • image kaskade:
    image Mrs.Rad888:

    I'm totally in favor of this law; it should have happened long ago.

    My issue is that I see local police on their cell phones all the time. The new law, the one that makes it a primary offense, states that the new law doesn't apply to emergency calls or emergency personnel. So, the police can continue to talk on their phones? I'm guessing that, if they are in the middle of an emergency, they can use their police radios. But, who's going to call out a cop for being on their phone in a patrol car?

    It was part of the original law as well that emergency personnel are exempt.  It is an issue that is being addressed by policies however; State Patrol just made it a policy violation for Troopers to talk on their phones while driving, and some other departments are following suit. 

    Side note though, that police radios are public and recorded.  Sometimes officers need to share information that can't be broadcast over the air - like certain names, details of a call or tactical planning enroute to a call.  If an officer is being dispatched to handle a suspect who may be using a scanner, the dispatcher can't put that info over the air.    That being said, not all officers are using their phones just for work.  It's a tricky subject that is being sorted out by agencies currently.

    Yes, and sometimes I have urgent business. So I'm supposed to use a blue tooth. Why aren't they?

    image
  • You can't wear an earpiece when you already have a mike in one ear is the biggest reason.  I've seen some officers pop their bluetooth on and pop it back off after conversation as one solution.  For radios, some officers carry a lapel mike pinned up by their ear, the rest usually have an actual earpiece already in their ear with a mike wired up by their mouth. 

    Bluetooth would require the officer to have both ears miked, which is not a good idea while driving.   

    I'm not totally defending the practice, just discussing.  Yes, I've seen cell phone crashes with officers.  Besides being humiliating for them just on principal, they also get written up with discipline because legal or not, it still has caused a crash. 

    My feeling is that it will soon become a matter of officers being restricted further by their agencies, and only being allowed to use their phones for emergency or in-progress police situations.  So it will be similar to the public's restriction of only for emergent calls.  But, there will always be scofflaws both police and non-police. 

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  • Oh, well that makes sense. I didn't realize they already had something in their ears!
    image
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