Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Have you gotten busted for talking on a handheld cellphone while driving?

I keep seeing drivers talking on their handheld cellphones while driving. And they’re usually not paying attention to the road, either.

In my neck of the woods, it’s been illegal to do that, for a few years by now. I truly don’t believe anybody can plead ignorance anymore, at this late late stage. The posters are everywhere, in several languages, and have been for some time

My questions are as follows . . .

Have you gotten busted?

What state was it in?

How much was the ticket?

Did it discourage and/or stop you from doing it again?

Did anybody get busted a second time . . . I’m asking because I hear the second offense is more expensive

By the way, I freely admit that I did use handheld cellphones while driving . . . before the ban

I still do other things, so I’m no saint, either

I’m not talking about texting while driving . . . that’s an entirely different situation, which probably deserves its own discussion

No, but I can understand why. Unless you are driving next to or along with a driver doing this, it’s often hard to see inside the car. Unlike the actual actions of a car, it’s a difficult thing to be written up on if it’s appearance alone without it being accompanied by illegal actions by the car. When talking with at least one cop in our state which has a general law covering cell phones and other distractions, that seems to be the biggest reason why “every” driver who does it isn’t ticketed.

We have hands free Bluetooth in both cars but still find it a distraction.I am no saint either but, I think some of us know our limitations and at least don’t “break the law” in high traffic areas. If I receive a call I think will take a while, I pull over. I very seldom make a call and again, will pull over if it will be a long conversation. Most problems I feel are when people get engaged for long periods of driving time. The odds go up regardless of how many hands free gadgets you have.

The voice recognition can be a total PITA if it doesn’t recognize directions right away, no matter what you use it for. Best practiced while stopped so you are sure what commands will work when driving.

In my state (MN) you’re only banned from using a handheld cell phone while driving if you have an under-18 license or permit.

I see people on the phone all the time. Lots of them drive like crap. I also see people drive like crap when they’re not on the phone. And I see them drive like crap when they’re doing even dumber things, such as wearing noise cancelling headphones so they can’t hear me when I’m honking them to try to stop them from merging into me.

In general, people here drive like crap no matter what they’re doing. I’d love to see reform such that driving like crap was not tolerated.

My questions are as follows . . .

Have you gotten busted?

Not illegal in my state!

As far as legality goes, while I am NOT a fan of laws against talking on a cellphone while driving…AFAIC, anybody that gets a ticket…deserves it! I only take/place calls sparingly, during low-workload environments…which means there’s nobody around to observe me talking on the phone! If you get “popped,” it likely means you either made a call in dense traffic (and got caught that way), OR it negatively affected your driving, to the point that it drew attention to you.

I think it’s awfully arbitrary to ban phone conversations, when talking to a passenger, or on CB, is roughly identical from a “time-and-motion” standpoint. (Seems to me, outlawing phones, yet permitting CBs, is saying "it’s illegal to transmit on these frequencies…and legal on these ones!)

I really hate laws that allow “hands-free” calls while outlawing using the phone directly. That allows those who can afford new, bluetooth-capable vehicles one set of rules…and another, more restrictive one, for the masses. It’s saying “We’ve just outlawed bread…but go ahead and eat all the cake you want!”

If my handheld cellphone rings while I’m driving, I don’t answer it

I figure it it’s important, they’ll leave a text or a voicemail

And I’ll check when I’ve gotten to my destination, which is usually only a a few minutes away

I really hate laws that allow "hands-free" calls while outlawing using the phone directly.

I dislike them too, but not because of the money thing - you can buy a bluetooth conversion kit for $100 or so these days, and a nice one is less than $200. That’s not all that much money when you consider the phone it’s hooked up to probably costs $600.

I dislike them because they encourage cops to focus on cell phone users and pull them over whether they’re driving poorly or not. I’d rather cops focus on how people are driving, and then pull over the bad drivers whether they’re holding an electronic device or not.

I agree @shadowfox. That’s why I think it makes a good ancillary offense if someone is driving erratically and the cop can write them up for two offenses. It’s really tough, I would imagine making driving while distracted in a car that obeys all the laws of the road.

Have you gotten busted?

Nope…never stupid enough to use cell while driving.My highlander has bluetooth for hands free. When I get a call I tell them I’ll call back.

No, I have never been ticketed for this offense either, simply because I haven’t violated that law.

Aside from being constantly appalled at the number of violators who I see on a daily basis, the thing that amazes me the most is that almost all of the violators that I see are driving late-model luxury cars that come with standard Bluetooth.

So, in addition to consciously violating the law that has existed for a few years, these people are apparently too stupid to be able to “pair” their phone with the Bluetooth equipment in their car.

My bud driving and I got stopped way long ago for inattentive driving for driver reaching into a cooler for a pepsi as the police car was passing us.

No; I always pull over onto the shoulder or a parking lot to use a cell. The only exception is that (very, very seldom) I might use one while in motion on one of the back highways here. Those roads are arrow straight and have very little traffic if at all.

On another note, this evening I almost got whacked by a young lady in a late model Mustang on my left who veered into my lane of traffic while making a right turn into a fast food restaurant. I swerved to avoid hitting her and noted that she had a tablet opened up on top of steering wheel and was apparently steering and surfing the net at the same time.

She almost rammed the car in front of her who had also turned into the restaurant.

I will answer calls in my cR in the afternoon since I work much eRlier hours than most people I work with. But I will pull over to continue the conversation or go on speaker. I will not read texts until I am stopped at a light or in heavy traffic (stopped) but will not answer the text. There are apps that will answer the caller or texted for you and tell than that you are driving. Oh, and never busted because I do it so infrequently.

No. I carry my cellphone in my pocket. If it rings…I will pull over when it’s convenient and see who called.

It’s illegal where I live (n. calif) to use a handheld phone while driving. I’ve never done it, so never been busted. Traffic fine amounts are tricky here. The fine imposed by the legislature for cell phone use is probably less than $50, but the total bill – after all the court assessments are tacked on to the basic fine, and the traffic school assessment – the total cash outlay I expect would come to over $350. Add to that the possible lost wages from the time away from the job court appearances, and, because it is a moving violation, increases in insurance premiums.

no. I don t text when driving and I don t usually talk while driving. this week I must admit I talked on my phone numerous times while on a divide four lane highway, between towns in light traffic.

my mom went to the hospital Monday , unconscious and near death. there were things I had to do, and I used my own judgement as to what was safe. I respect the law, but chose to violate it.

my mom is up and awake and miraculously is herself still, even happier it seems. its a good week.

No. I don’t use the phone much and just sparingly and don’t know how to text. I got a call from my insurance agent while going though the mountains in Pennsylvania in the rain. I said “Tony, I really have to go and pay attention to my driving. Its raining here and I’m going through the mountains.”

I was really annoyed on a vacation we took and, at our destination had rented a car from Enterprise. Apparently, the agent had failed to note the VIN number of the car we rented on rental form. My wife answered the call and couldn’t find the VIN in the information in the glove compartment. She then handed the phone to me because the agent was so insistent. I was very abrupt with the agent–I explained really quickly as my wife had done that we were in heavy traffic and she could find another way to get the VIN. I passed the cell phone back to my wife ad told her turn it off.

Most people are fooling themselves about hands-free phones:

Pull-quote from the National Safety Council link:

“More than 30 studies show hands-free devices are no safer than handheld as the brain remains distracted by the cell phone conversation.”

^Which is why I feel ethically justified using my phone, regardless of law: it really isn’t any more dangerous than the legally-permissible hands-free version.

missileman Senior Grease Monkey
November 21
"No. I carry my cellphone in my pocket. If it rings…I will pull over when it’s convenient and see who called".

I do the same thing. Mine is in my pocket under the lap belt. I would have to commit two moving violations to answer it. I wait until I reach my destination. If that destination is home I will call back on my home phone.