Hands-free law for truckers criticized

Published 10:59 am Saturday, February 11, 2012

To the Editor:

I was driving along in my big rig the other day dwelling on this new “hands-free” driving law that went into effect just for truck drivers.

I was thinking of the ludicrous fine of $2,700 and an $11,000 fine for the company if caught. I was also thinking about the added expense of a Bluetooth device, and just at that moment my phone rang.

I quickly put down the Big Mac I was dining on, and with my free hand, pushed the button of my Bluetooth. It was my wife.

So as I listened to her discuss her day, I used my free hand to pick up my Big Mac. But in doing so, some of that special sauce dripped on my steering wheel, so with my free hand, I reached over to get a napkin to wipe it up.

And about that time I noticed two state troopers racing in the opposite direction, so I promptly, with my free hand, grabbed the mike of my CB radio and informed my fellow truckers of their whereabouts.

I finally finished my Mac and the phone conversation with my wife. And then I wanted a cigarette. At that moment, it began to rain, and I didn’t like the radio station that was on.

So in one fell swoop with my free hand, I lit my cigarette, turned on the wipers and changed the radio. Then I kicked back in my seat to enjoy the ride.

At least all of it except when someone cut me off to make his last-minute exit.

I looked over. He was on his cell phone.

A car was slowly making its way into my lane. I looked down to find a woman pushing on her cell phone and laughing, and most likely texting.

And then there were the two teenagers in front of me at the stoplight. I had to blow the horn at them to go while they where passing their iPhones back and forth.

So in closing, thank you, Virginia, for the new hands-free law. It allows me more time to pay attention to the drivers on their hands-on devices and take care of some other things while I’m driving.

Rick Boyce