Cell Cheats: Put Down the Phone - NBC Bay Area

Cell Cheats: Put Down the Phone

If you haven't bought a hands-free device for your cell phone, watch out Tuesday



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    Put down that cell phone.

    Holding your phone in one hand while steering with the other is about to get a lot less fashionable if a new crackdown by the California Highway Patrol is any indication.

    CHP officers, aided by local law enforcement, will be rigorously enforcing a new law that requires chatty Cathys to use a hands free device while driving.

    The law has recently been questioned thanks to a new study that shows cell phones are just as dangerous with, or without, hands-free devices.

    Leaving the casual conspiracy theorist to speculate that the law is more about raising revenue for the state (and bluetooth headset manufacturers) while giving officers yet another reason to stop motorists and look into other issues like unpaid tickets and outstanding warrants.

    So what's a driver to do? Well, you can ride a bike or the bus and chat all you want.

    If you must chat in a car, get a system that connects to your stereo or a GPS device -- don't believe that bling that wearing a bluetooth headset makes you look cool.

    And for cheapskates, pick up a pair of ear bud headphones with a microphone bauble.

    Whatever you do, don't switch to text messaging while in motion -- you might as well be driving drunk if thumbing out a message while driving.

    Jackson West tries not to take calls, hands-free or otherwise, on a quiet bus ride.