Monthly Archives: April 2011

Driving while holding a cell-phone in “speaker” mode, is not safe OR legal!

This is not a legal use of a cell phone in California! It doesn't have to be held next to your ear to be dangerous and illegal.

Distracted driving continues, even as the CHP and local law enforcement claim they’re doing a big crackdown on it this month. In the photo shown here, you see a woman holding what looks like a pink-cased iPhone in one hand, sorta kinda driving with the other, as if somehow holding the phone in front of you is better than holding it to your ear. The reality is that this is probably the most-dangerous phone use of all, because she’s spending most of her time trying to figure out how to not look like she’s using a phone.

After seeing this, I felt compelled to get the message out to more than just our almost-daily-diary fathtful, so I emailed Gary Richards, aka Mr. Roadshow of the San Jose Mercury News-

Gary: I’m seeing an increasing number of drivers who believe that it’s OK to drive and use your cell phone if it’s in speakerphone mode and not held to your ear. I’ve attached a photo of someone doing that this morning. The relevant information is here-

Q: Does the “hands-free” law allow you to use the speaker phone function of your wireless telephone while driving?
A: Yes, as long as you are not holding the phone.

Please remind your readers about this. If you have to hold your phone to talk on it, it’s illegal, plain & simple. Thanks!

I received a very quick reply from Mr. Richards, promising to bring it up in his column.  –Mike–

It’s getting nicer out there. It’s really getting nicer. Soon, it might even warm up a bit!

Not a big group this morning, but what it lacked in quantity it made up for in quality. Karen, Karl & Eric on a crisp morning (42 degrees at the start as well as up on Skyline) with broken clouds and dry roads. Yes, dry roads, maybe just one or two spots with a little bit of moisture, but I think it’s finally safe to believe in nicer days ahead.

It’s also safe to think that I’ve topped out on the scale for the winter, a good two pounds lighter than last year’s peak weight. That’s definitely helped me keep closer to the front on the climbs, and gives me hope of yet another year that I’ll be able to pretend that getting older isn’t slowing me down.

But not everything ages so well, as the video I took on west-side Old LaHonda clearly shows. In particular, check out the section 8 minutes, 10 seconds in.