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California's First Lady and Cell Phone Law 101

By Neetal Parekh on October 15, 2009 1:01 PM

If you listen closely you might hear Alanis Morissette's "Ironic"  while reading this next story.  California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous wife, Maria Shriver, has issued an official and public apology.  So what has the Golden State's First Lady throwing up a white flag?

It is California's cell phone law that became effective on July 1, 2008.  As you might recall, the law requires drivers to use a hand-free device if they want to gab on their mobile device while on the road.  At the time, "Governator" Arnold Schwarzenegger declared cell phones as the #1 cause of distracted driving in California.  And that was before he realized that texting is just as bad.  The law that bans writing, reading, and sending text messages settled into effect on January 1st 2009.  Over one-third of all states have established some form of restriction on using hand-held devices while driving, or have enabled local laws to address the growing safety concern.

Well, apparently all of those drivers you see on the road who are distracted not only because they are texting and using their cell phones, but because now they are also keeping an eye out for cops, are not the only ones trying to stay under the radar.  TMZ.com posted photos, not one but two, of Maria Shriver cruising down California streets with cell phone in-hand, and on-ear. 

Hence the apology.  She also vowed to donate her "favorite old cell phone" to a domestic violence shelter run by Verizon... and closed this public cell-ular experience with "that's my version of swift action with a higher purpose."

It could happen to anyone.  But if Shriver's mea culpa saves you ticket, fine, or accident...it might just qualify as an Obama-bonafide "teachable moment".

 

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