Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cell Phone Ticket Blitz Snaring Texting Drivers

Cell Phone Ticket Blitz Snaring Texting Drivers: "

102109senior.jpg Since 12:01 a.m., the NYPD has been doing this crazy thing whereby they enforce the law, issuing tickets to drivers using portable electronic devices in one of their regular 24-hour sting operations. And one driver we know has already gotten nailed. The scofflaw, who asked to remain anonymous, was shocked to find that he was being ticketed for what the cop perceived as sending a text message. But he wasn't texting, ociffer!



The driver says he was stopped at a red light near the Holland Tunnel around 8:30 a.m. today when he reached down to check the time remaining on a podcast playing on his iPhone. That's when the trouble started:

My iPhone was connected to the car speakers via the tapedeck. (I know, "tapedeck?!" But it's awesome for listening to the iPod—except when you get tickets.) The light changed to green, the traffic inched forward and I put down the phone on the seat next to me. Next thing I know, there's a cop rapping on the window motioning for me to pull over. I pulled over, rolled down the window and asked him what the problem was. He said, "It looked like you were texting back there." I replied that the phone was connected to the speakers, showing him the cord and that i was checking the time remaining.



Why are we not surprised the 'podcast defense' didn't carry much weight with the traffic cop? Our source got a ticket for $130, but the officer said he was free to contest the ticket. 'He then went up to another car knocked on the window and pulled that one over.'



In August, Governor Paterson signed a bill that bans texting and using other electronic devices while driving, but according to this website, the law (read it here!) does not go into effect until November. Nevertheless, for the rest of the day you'll want to avoid touching any portable electronic device while driving, and concentrate on the totally boring road.





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