Wednesday, August 29, 2012

PSA: Don't Even Touch Your Phone While Stopped At A Red Light.

I learned this lesson the hard way. Here in California (as in many states) it's illegal to text while driving or talk on the phone while driving, unless you are using a hands-free device.

I agree with this law. I don't text while driving and my friends know I frequently give them a hard time for doing so. Also, I don't accept calls on my phone unless it's through my hands-free navigation system in my car.

However, I would frequently pick up my phone while stopped at a red light, check for texts or tweets or even at times send a quick text. Until now.

A few weeks ago I sent a text in a shopping center (BEFORE I STARTED THE CAR) to tell Marshall I was on my way home. I put my phone down in the center console and then drove. When I was close to home and stopped at a red light, I picked up my phone to check if he responded back. That's when a cop next to me motioned for me to pull into the gas station. Little did I know it was a sting. Five police on bikes were pulling over every person stopped at the red light that touched their phones.

After the policeman pulled me over, he gave me the whole "no texting while driving, no talking on the phone while driving speech." Yeah, yeah, yeah, I told him. I don't do any of those things. I only look at my phone when I'm stopped at a red light. Apparently that's illegal too.

When the cop saw me, I wasn't making a text or a call. All I did was pick up my phone, check it to see if there was a text, and put it down. But that was enough to get me pulled over and ticketed.

He said this sting was part of their "educating the public" about the dangers of touching your phone when you're stopped at a red light. Seriously. Apparently I'm supposed to keep my hands at "10" and "2" on the steering wheel at a red light so I can maintain control of my car if I happened to be rear-ended. I didn't ask him if that applied to people driving stick shift.

It was a non-moving violation and didn't put any points on my license, but he said there is legislation moving forward that will hopefully add points to licenses in the future.

So, according to this cop, you're allowed to mess with your music via car radio and allowed to mess with any part of your navigation system, but if you even touch your phone at a red light, you will get a ticket.

How much was my ticket?? $160

Yes that seriously sucks. If you live in a state where it's illegal to text & talk on your phone while driving, consider yourself warned.

To check out my other blogs, visit:

Gingersnaps in the Morning


Mommy Hates Chemicals (But Ginger Doesn't)


  1. that is so ridiculous...I have put myself in far more danger trying to find, unravel, and plug in my ear buds...and then eat and drink in the car.

  2. I always wonder this when I'm checking my iphone for directions.

  3. That is incredible. How is looking, then setting it down, any different from glancing at your radio and changing the station while sitting at a light???

    1. I don't see how it's any different. Stupid laws that don't make sense!

  4. Okay, I know I commented on this yesterday. I guess it got eaten by the internet. The more I thought about this I really think a lawyer would have a great case to have your ticket, and any others like it, tossed. While at a stop light there is nothing different between looking at your phone and changing a radio station, grabbing a quick drink (non-alcoholic of course), scratching your nose (or any other body part for that matter), or fixing your hair. I know texting or talking on a cell phone is a cause for accidents but I think those police officers are pushing it.

  5. I didn't know that was illegal in some states. It's not here in NC (as long as the car is at a complete stop).