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.

There are 4 comments on this post

  1. I hate the new cell phone law in California. People do all sorts of distracting things while driving, like eating, putting on make-up, shaving, etc. I can’t wait to hear about the results of your court hearing. I think that the cop should have given you a warning, since the law is new – that is so bogus!

  2. I actually received the ticket weeks *before* the new law went into effect, Deb. The ticket was for driving with both my ears covered, not for using the phone.

  3. HI,

    I find myself in the same situation.

    How did this end up for you, and are you aware of any other sites that have legal definitions.

  4. Hello my name is Adelina Fernandez and my son name is Alex Fernandez he was supose to apear in court for crossing tha double line in the freeway and the other one to show the registration.The problem is that at thios moment he is in the men central jail in downton Los Angeles and is of course imposible for him to appear.Will you please let me know where do i have to call to notify that this person is in custody right now waithin to be transfer.His name is Alex Fernandez
    DL#B3885658 D.O B 07/16/1976 I will appreciate if i have a response to see what i can do.
    Thanks Adelina Fernandez (310-978-0048)

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