Yes or no?
John and I are having a bit of a controversy, so I thought I’d take it to my readers and get their thoughts on it. Of course, I already know how the answers will play out — the men will say yes, and most of the women (except the under-bus throwers!) will say no. But what the hell, I’ll put it out there anyway.
I think I’m a pretty good driver. Not perfect, but good. And I observe the laws. When it comes to cell phones and driving, I don’t believe they’re a good mix. Personally, I think people who text and drive at the same time should have their phones taken away AND their licenses revoked for a good while. I don’t even talk on the phone in the car, even with a hands-free device, which is perfectly legal. It’s distracting. When the car is moving, I need to be focused.
However, I will admit to looking at my phone when I’m idling at a red light. If I’m stuck at a long light and I can see that I have new emails, for example, I’ll glance at them while I’m waiting. As soon as the light turns green, I put the phone back down.
The other night, I was driving home from the gym (it was past dark) and I was stuck on a busy boulevard. My phone had been off for the couple of hours I was in the gym, so now it was on and I could see (and hear from the notification sounds) that I had new messages. When I stopped for a red light, with a ton of cars ahead of me, I knew I’d be there for a while. So, with my foot safely on the brake and one hand on the wheel, I picked up my phone and thumbed through the new messages, seeing if there was anything of interest.
Suddenly, a bright light flashed into my car, filling the front seat, startling the hell out of me and making me jump. Looking over to my right, I saw a police car idling next to mine. The cop in the driver’s seat was looking right at me, and smirking. His expression was clearly one of “Ha, ha, gotcha!” Smug bastard.
Feeling rather embarrassed, I shrugged, smiled at him and mouthed, “Sorryyyy!” Then I turned off the phone and put it on the seat, holding my breath. The light turned green, and we both drove on. He did not pull me over.
This weekend, I told John what had happened. “You broke the law!” he exclaimed. “You were checking email on your phone while operating a motor vehicle! You should be punished.”
“The car was stopped!” I protested.
“Was the key in the ignition?”
“Was the car turned on?”
“Then it was in operation.’
Oh, please. Give me a break. Who doesn’t look at their phone when the car is stopped? And they keep on looking at it and futzing with it once the car starts up again — I don’t! But of course, John gleefully kept up his insistence that I did a bad thing and I should be punished for it.
“If the damn cop didn’t see fit to pull me over for it, then I didn’t do anything wrong,” I said tartly.
“Did you smile at him? He just let you off because you were cute.” Again — oh, please. That does not happen with me. I have never, ever gotten out of anything with a cop — a ticket, etc. — no matter how charming and contrite I was. (Don’t get me started on women who get away with everything, especially where men are concerned. Apparently, over-the-top sexual prowess is involved.) This cop didn’t pull me over because the freaking car was stopped and I didn’t do anything wrong, not because he was letting me off. How is glancing at a phone when the car is stopped any different from looking at the radio and changing the station?
It didn’t matter what argument I presented. John couldn’t be swayed from his opinion. Big surprise there, huh? I’m supposed to tell Steve about this.
So what do y’all think? Yes, should I be punished, or no, should I not? Come on, let’s hear it. Let’s see who my friends are. 😉
Hope everyone has had a good weekend. And to our veterans — past and present — thank you. ♥