Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Phantom Cell Phone

Recently, my husband, Stephen, was driving to work when a police officer pulled him over. This, in itself, is absurd. My husband motors like a grandmother. He always goes the speed limit and is the safest driver—irritatingly so—that I have ever known. 

So when he rolled down the window of his 1995 Beretta to talk to the police officer, he told him that he couldn’t imagine why he was being pulled over. He knew he wasn’t speeding. He knew his car was well-maintained. He knew he hadn’t broken any laws.

The officer smugly replied that he had seen my husband texting—and that is against the law. My husband responded by laughing.

Why would an otherwise model citizen laugh in the face of the law? You would have to know a deep, dark secret about Stephen to understand why. He is not like the rest of us. He doesn’t own a cell phone.

The officer insisted he saw him texting and Stephen stated that, quite simply, that was impossible. When Stephen finally convinced the man in blue that he lived his life without a cell phone, the officer expressed shock at how he could possibly survive. Stephen said, quite well, and he had no desire to jump on the 24/7 communication bandwagon.

He drove away without a ticket—and after having received a cheerful apology. This experience, however, calls into question how valid any ticket written for texting truly can be if a man who doesn’t own a cell phone is pulled over for such an infraction. Maybe our law enforcement community could use some sobriety tests of their own—or at the very least, some eye exams.

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