Over zealous hands-free cell phone law enforcement
Original post made by John W, Cuesta Park, on Oct 21, 2009
The other day, I was talking on the bluetooth, and I pressed against the bluetooth more inwards to hear it better. Then, a cop pulled me over, and asked me: 1) Are you using your phone for an emergency? 2) Can I see your driver's license?
Without knowing what is going on, I gave him my driver's license. He went away, came back and gave me a ticket saying that I have been talking on my cell phone without hands-free.
All along, the cop was on my left hand side, so I turned to show him the bluetooth I was wearing on my right ear, and explained that I was indeed using hands-free.
He asked, "If you have a hands-free, why do you have your hand on the side of your head". I said that I was pressing against the bluetooth to hear it better. His response, "Well, every body says that. I have already written you a ticket, so you will have to explain this to the court".
I understand, by putting a hand on the side of my head, that it may cause the police officer to interpret it incorrectly. However, in this case:
1) The police officer should explain the reason for giving me a ticket, before actually writing one
2) I should be able to exercise my due process right, to show him that I am indeed wearing my bluetooth on the right ear (which he cannot see from the left hand side), and to explain that I was merely pressing against the bluetooth to hear it better.
I will take this to court.
It appears that many people have had similar experiences, with some receiving those shoot-first-ask-questions-later-tickets by simply resting and propping up the side of their heads with their left hands.
Lessons learned: Do not place your hand on or near the side of your head, while driving, as it can be misread as holding a phone to your ear, and you can be ticketed before you can prove or explain otherwise.