Cop or Mom?

<![CDATA[Driving down the street today, I saw an unusual number of sheriff's cars patrolling the boulevard. It is two days since California's new law went into effect, banning the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. A patrol car was crossing the intersection. Suddenly I heard a police car speaker, saying "Please stop using your cell phone!", presumably to the car in front of it. No one was pulled over; it was just a warning.

As with the seat belt law, here’s another one designed to make sure people do what they should do anyway. And now police are burdened with having to watch for drivers not buckling up and chatting on phones. I would much rather they get quickly to the scene of a crime, or monitor the crosswalks near our local school, where idiot drivers practically run over kids’ heels every morning in the crosswalk. In fact, when I requested a patrol be sent there between 8:50 and 9:00 am on a weekday to witness this dangerous behavior, I was told there weren’t enough officers to do that. Evidently they’re needed for chat check instead.

Yep, this is a rant. The seat belt and cell phone laws are designed to make you do what you would do anyway if you’d listened to your mother. If you have or had a mom, she likely told you to be careful, do things the safe way. That’s what most moms do. If you listened to your mom, you’d always buckle your seatbelt. You would not use the cell phone while driving, nor would you do what I consider the more hazardous “while driving” behaviors: arguing with your spouse, crying as you sing to that sad song on the radio, eating a hamburger, or putting on makeup, none of which is against the law…yet.

Grownups, however, by virtue of their advanced age, do not have to listen to their mother. So they drive like idiots, do unsafe things, endanger kids in crosswalks, etc. BTW, there is no law about the crosswalk thing. Apparently it’s totally OK to start moving your car while a pedestrian is still in the crosswalk, so long as you came to a complete stop at the stop sign first. Nevertheless, I’d bet your mother would tell you it’s not a safe thing to do.