New law in Vermont

Starting October 1, it became illegal in VT to drive while hand-holding any electronic device…smartphone, gps,etc. You can make a call and touch buttons on the screen, as long as it’s “securely mounted”.

What’s ironic about this is that I had good muscle memory for where to swipe the unlock button on my iPhone…could do it without looking, then I’d tell Siri what number to call and talk normally. Now I’ll have to look once to find the unlock button, look again to make sure I swiped accurately, give the number to Siri, look again to touch the speakerphone button. and finally look to hang up. Yet this is supposed to be less distracted driving.

Actually it is really easy, if you want to make a call, GET OFF THE ROAD. Problem solved, you’re welcome.

Good for Vermont !

At least we know why this person needs eyesight on the vehicle he ordered.

if they make it illegal to drink my coffee, then I ll worry

It is,in some places-Kevin

I wished Oklahoma would pass an identical law. When on the road and I need to make a call I just pull over and do it while stopped.That way there’s no potential issues for me or anyone else.

After all, a lot depends upon what the brain is focusing on. Someone will get so wrapped up in a conversation they will just stare a hole right through the person or object they’re about to plow into.
Kind of like the doofwad in the Ford pickup who almost hit me this evening after braking for a car in front of him at the 4-way stop and then sailing on through the intersection without stopping while gabbing away.
The horn and the one-finger salute didn’t even get his attention…

The OP may only need to push three buttons to make a call, but the whole point of the law is to crack down on the texting that is rampant among all ages. How does that cop know how many buttons you had to push to make your call.

I’m all for a law like this.


@wesw. With the proliferation of cup holders in cars and trucks, drinking coffee in a car seems to be supported by the car industry and legislation. Personally, I don’t get it. Negotiating a hot cut of Joe in the morning rush hour is nearly as disconcerting as phoning. The thing is, it will never happen (outlawing drinking and driving) as the legislature is filled with the need of their caffeine fix as much as anyone. I have a rule in my car…water or nothing…

One of the most inconsiderate things a persona can do, is jump into someone’s car with coffee dripping and spilling over the everything on the console. If I’m driving, I just sit there till they finish drinking it …other then alcohol, nothing "pisses " me of more then drinking (anything, especially coffee) while driving. Caffeine and aggressive driving ? Got to be a link ! I know this addition will go against the majority of Java latte drinkers. Sorry …;)))

Talki about phoning, coffee is an fn killer !

I have a novel idea. Let’s all focus on driving while driving. Stop messing with the radio, your phone, your breakfast and everything else that has nothing to do with driving. If we all did this then I think a lot more of us would make it home safely every day.

You did read the article ? How can one not take that to heart ? Number one in foods as the cause of distracted driving food. Obviously because so many drink coffee. But, to me it’s obvious; playing around with a cup of hot coffee in traffic is about as distracting as you can get short of having your number one squeeze blowing in your ear. ;()

A few years ago I passed a car that was going just under the speed limit on the interstate. She was in the right lane and as I passed on the left, I glanced over to see her turning the page of her novel she was trying to read.
I also passed one that had a coffee cup in one hand and a Egg McSoybean in the other. Must have been steering with a knee.


I never play with my coffee…

@dagosa :

With the proliferation of cup holders in cars and trucks, drinking coffee in a car seems to be supported by the car industry and legislation.

So, you don’t like cup holders? Don’t you think that they serve a valid “harm reduction” purpose? (i.e., people are going to drink coffee in the car regardless; they would simply be more distracted if they had to balance coffee on the dash, or between their thighs, or whatever.)

I’m cynical enough to think that “hands free” laws are way to pass the buck and sell more new cars and new gadgets…all that Bluetooth jazz. I don’t think the “phone in the hand” is the bad part, and if I’m distracted talking to somebody 30 miles away…I’m gonna be roughly equally distracted talking to somebody 30" away. (At least with the call, I can make the other person STHU at will!)

I do hope folks who campaign against talking (on the phone) while driving are logically consistent and forbid all conversations within their car!

Did I say "I " didn’t like them. My point is, coffee is a significant contributor to accidents compared to other foods as most hot beverages in general are too. Do we need nine cup holders for a five passenger vehicle ? They all contribute to driver in attention and for some drivers, as much as phones. That should be acknowledged and recognized as a distraction instead of just saying…everyone does it, what the heck. That’s not the what we expect to say as far as phone use is concerned. If we say the same thing about eating lunch and drinking hot coffee ie, pull over the to the side of the road, as we do about using a cell phone, that would be a step in the right direction.

Btw, there is difference between drinking a hot beverage and water as far as a potential for distraction is concerned. It’s just that the coffee latte drinkers don’t acknowledge it just like the phone users don’t acknowledge their uses.

As far as phone use is concerned, the consensus I believe is, talking is not officially considered enough of a distraction while dialing a number ( like texting) while handling the phone is. That’s why using Bluetooth is officially acceptable. Bluetooth is becoming pretty standard in new cars. So, comparing phone use to normal conversation is not relevant.

Judging from the commercials shown on TV anymore, concentrating on driving the car is not required anymore.
More than one shows a driver putzing around with an infant in the back seat while backing out of a drive or at speed on the road but thankfully they’re saved by collision avoidance and 18 airbags…

There’s also the ad for Harley Davidson with a rider shown moving down the highway and deciding whether to accept or decline an incoming call by poking a touch screen.

A driver should be doing one thing while on the road and that is concentrating on driving. I will allow a little conversation but it has to be eyes straight ahead and both hands on the wheel. Vermont has the right idea and the timing is perfect. My wife and I plan to spend a week or two in Vermont next spring.

passing a law =/= enforcing a law

Let me know when they start actually pulling people over for violating this law

Sounds pretty unenforceable to me.

You’re allowed to talk on a phone. You’re allowed to touch the screen face of the phone, to dial a number, provided it’s mounted to something. You’re allowed to grasp and use any number of things that are not electronic in nature.

But what you can’t do (at least per the OP, the legal text would be useful) is grasp the electronic device, while using it. Apparently, an elastic wristband or some Stick-Um would make this action legal.

Long story short, don’t expect to be pulled over for this. Expect that, if you get pulled over for something else, a “pile-on” offense, in addition to whatever they pulled you over for in the first place.

Heck, glue the phone to a glove–put the glove on–make a call!

" Personally, I don’t get it. Negotiating a hot cut of Joe in the morning rush hour is nearly as disconcerting as phoning. The thing is, it will never happen (outlawing drinking and driving) as the legislature is filled with the need of their caffeine fix as much as anyone".
I agree with you about juggling a cup of coffee while you drive. Ironically, I was stopped by our local police for a seat belt check. Since I had my seat belt on, I was rewarded with a free traveling coffee mug to use in the car.