If there is one thing that really ticks me off while driving it’s someone swerving between lanes many times coming close to me in another lane as a result of them texting someone. Typically I use my hands free phone to make a call while driving and try to refrain from using my cell phone whenever possible but on occasion there is an exception. Like this morning for example… I was on my way to pick up one of my fleet accounts vehicle at one of the larger electronic corporations and so I thought I would give a friend of mine a call and stop in on him while in the neighborhood. Not having his number handy I called my office manager and he said he would call right back but when he did he called my cell phone. No sooner than I had answered I looked over and saw a CHP smiling right at me and he politely motioned me to pull over. Caught in the act!
Luckily for me he was young officer and a real car nut and before long the topic of the day was muscle cars and La Carrera Panamericana which he had read and knew a lot about. What are the odds of that? When he told me he owned a 67 Camaro I was careful not to trash talk Chevys until the business at hand was delt with. After all, you should never tell your waitress the service is terrible... right? After a few stories I was pretty pleased with the results as the officer advised me to “Keep it safe and be careful merging back onto the freeway.” and no ticket. Am I smooth or what I thought to myself as I continued on to see my buddy and pick up the fleet company vehicle.
As it turned out my buddy and I talked briefly but missed each other in person however I did meet with my contact and pick up the vehicle for the return trip to my shop. The particular vehicle van they gave me is used to test various modes and operations of cell phones so it was no surprise when I got inside to see no less than 20 suction cell phone dash mounts all over the dash and rear side windows.
No sooner than I had gotten back up to speed on the freeway another CHP had me in his sites complete with lights and siren but this time there was no smile and unlike the prior stop this time I had no idea what he wanted. As I rolled down my window the first thing he asked while pointing at the dash mounts, was, “Do you honestly believe it’s safe to drive with your view being obstructed like that?” Before I could finish telling him it wasn’t my vehicle and why I was driving it he gave me the dreaded, “Driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance.” The truth is, my vision was not impaired at all by the dash mounts and I even told him about some of my cars that had blowers sticking 20 inches out of the hood that attracted less concern than he had for these non-obtrusive mounts but he was having none of it.
So one CHP who was a fine gentleman let me go with a warning for actually braking a law while another gave me a ticket literally for driving a vehicle that is in fact used to create and test a better hand’s free environment and making the highways a safer place for all concerned. Is that iRonic or what! I could just pay the fine (which is small) but the opportunity to tell this story to a judge is one I just can’t refuse.