California, like many other communities, states, and countries, has adopted a law that states that using a cell phone to make a call, text, and even tweet while operating a motor vehicle is illegal. The rule was advertised before it went into law. I do not know anyone in California that is not aware of its existence.
This does not mean that everyone has stopped using her/his phone. Casual observance suggests the opposite. While usage went down in the first few months, it has returned to pre-adoptions levels! Initially enforcement was visible. Police were pulling people over, writing tickets, and enforcing the law. In the past few days, I have witness enforcement officials blissfully ignoring the obvious as they silently cruised to their destination.
When I shut my eyes, I see a short mother driving a full size SUV with two kids in the back laughing and screaming. If these distractions were not enough, she was talking on her cell phone. Her intensity was clearly visible, even through the shaded glass. As I waited on my Harley at the stop sign, waiting for her to proceed even though I had the right of way, I sat in a cold sweat.
In the midst of a crisis, a leader stood up to take charge. “But the moment he opened his mouth and they knew he was a Jew, they shouted him down: ‘Great Artemis of the Ephesians! Great Artemis of the Ephesians!’ — on and on and on, for over two hours.” (Acts 19.34) His actions said far more than he realized.
I love my communities and the people living in them. I want the best for them, in all things. I do not know what was so urgent that lives should be endangered. I do understand how someone could carelessly risk the lives of her/his children as well as others around them.
In not speaking for others, I find myself wanting to speak for myself. My cell phone is ringing as I am driving. For the sake of my community and my soul, it remains answered.