On May 1, 2008 I received a traffic citation while driving approximately 5mph in the middle of a bottleneck on Sunset Boulevard. A motorcycle cop driving between the lanes was stuck next to me because the guy in the other lane had drifted too close to my lane. He looked at me and nodded. I looked at him and nodded. We inched forward in the congestion. He looked at me again. I smiled and he motioned for me to pull over. “I can’t possibly have broken the law,” I thought, “I’m not even going 10mph!”
The cop told me that he was giving me a ticket for listening to my iPod while driving. I tried to explain to him that I was not listening to my iPod, I was talking on my iPhone. But he refused to recognize the difference. The problem, he said, was that I was using my iPhone headset with dual earbuds. Apparently there is a law in California that says you’re not allowed to have both ears blocked by a headset while driving. “That’s pretty silly,” I said, “because this is the headset that came with my phone.” The folks at Apple make quite a big point of clearly labeling all their products with “Designed by Apple in California” on the packaging. Am I the only one that thinks that a company proudly based in California should not sell a product that is illegal to use in its home state? Or at least there should be a notice in the box that says something along the lines of, “By the way, you can’t use this as it’s designed while driving here.”
So it looks like once again I’ll be making a trip to the Los Angeles Superior Court to deal with a traffic violation. The ticket did not appear on the website until the day I was supposed to appear in court, which was pretty frustrating. Luckily I was still able to postpone the court date.
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