Behold a citation for talking on the phone while driving. Before you rush to judgement, please allow me to set the stage. A handful of parking tickets already in hand, I won’t argue the merits of my skills behind the wheel. The ticket relates to a Saturday afternoon in July. I had wrapped up what was turning out to be a very difficult installation of a Tiger Lily’s
Lounge for Beach Ball. Beach Ball is the most spectacular fundraiser for the protection and conversation of Greenwich Point. It is a worthy cause that I support by providing a complementary lounge. On leaving the beach I received an important event related logistics phone call as I drove slowly along summer jammed Sound Beach in Old Greenwich. For those who don’t know the operation at Tiger Lily’s intimately, let it be known, we have at our disposable a extended commercial van behind the wheel of which this petite blogger found herself on this offending cloud covered Saturday. I picked up the phone as I passed the fire department which tends to be a convenient post for local law enforcement awaiting infractions. The eyes of the law were on me, as I attempted to juggle the wheel and the phone. In truth, I was in the process of pulling over seconds after I picked up, recognizing at that moment the impossible task and danger of driving and talking on the phone The impending blue lights of the patrol vehicle confirmed I was too late. Despite my attempt to explain to the officer that I had a momentary lapse of the road rules, I was issued a monetary citation.
I have decided to appeal. I have not lost “cite” of the importance of safety behind the wheel and support Connecticut being among the 18 states and the District Of Columbia to enact laws strict enough to include a ban on hand-held cell phone use and texting while driving. There has never been a greater concern to call-it quits on the phone.
1. On August 19th the Washington Post offered data that estimates the tab for cell phone usage: 342,000 auto accident injuries and $43 billion each year in property damage, lost wages, medical bills and fatalities. statistics are staggering.
2. In July 2009 Virginia Tech Transportation Institute released a study showing that the risk of drivers texting while driving is far greater than previous estimates research and far exceeds the hazards associated with other driving distractions.
My appeal is empirical. It is drawn from the wise words of Thomas Huxley. Huxley, famously once referred to “A beautiful theory, killed by a nasty, ugly, little fact.” Call America a cell phone nation. It is an instinct, to pick up a ringing phone from the most risky situations of driving cars or operating other machinery to the trivial situations of disrupting the peace in theaters or restaurants. In my case, my momentary oversight of a very important law was punished by law. However, I would like to think there are exceptions to every rule. I did try to immediately right a wrong, I hope a judge will understand the moment clearer then the officer writing the ticket. I ask for the checkered flag here and the chance to drive-on by. If not, the only law upheld here will be one of Murphy’s Laws. It’s been said no good deed goes unpunished!
(editors note: Court is set for the last week in November!!)