If you follow me on Instagram then you know that the last two weeks I’ve been crisscrossing the country at 30,000 feet and my husband has been running the ship here in San Diego. When I picked up the mail on Monday there was an ominous looking letter from the county of San Diego addressed to him and I thoughthaha- you’re getting called in for jury duty! Not so much.
He later revealed that while I was gone he got ticket for texting while driving even though he wasn’t technically texting. He was pretty caught up on the fact that it was $162. I remained silent, and let him tell his story. He was pulling into a physical therapy appointment when his phone made the “ding” that most of us are trained to respond to like a baby crying. Actually, most of us respond to it faster than a crying baby. And we shouldn’t.
According to Craig he picked up the phone for a second just to look at the screen, placed it back in the cup holder and proceeded to park. Which is precisely when a police officer walked over and asked him if it was an emergency. It wasn’t. He offered his phone up to the officer for inspection to prove that he didn’t attempt to send a text. Which he really hadn’t done.
He was nicely informed that it’s really a hands free law and that in that second he looked down at the phone that was the second that a child could chase their frisbee into the street. I teared up when I heard this and I told him about #RedBalloonsForRyan a hashtag that if you live in the blogging world you are all too familiar with. There is no doubt in my mind that this police officer was referencing Ryan.
Just a little over a week ago Ryan Cruz, a vivacious little 4 year old boy who lives a county or two away did just this. He ran into the street to chase his frisbee while playing in the front yard, was hit by a truck and killed. Following the story via social media has left me choked up and holding back tears in some very public places recently because as a parent this is the unimaginable. The worst case scenario. I feel ill just thinking about it.
I told Craig that it sucks, but that officer is 100% right and there is nothing he can say that changes that. The bottom line is that no police officer should have to tell a person driving a car that has a gigantic Britax car seat in the back (and a wife that’s 6 months pregnant) that they shouldn’t be playing with their phone while driving. Whether you’re actually typing words or not, you’re distracted. End of story.
So while I can think of 1000 other things I’d rather do with $162…like give it to Ryan’s family, there is a part of me that is glad my family just paid “the stupid tax.” Because I hope this is a very inexpensive wake up call to the reality that my husband pretty much got off scott free. Lucky. Very lucky. Write the check and learn from it. Like really learn from it.
We have a five year old who likes to chase butterflies. Please put your phone on silent when you’re driving. It really can wait.