Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

March 29, 2013

Handheld cell phone law should apply to the police

This is my rebuttal to the editorial in the Times-News March 24, titled “Hang up: Driver use of handheld phone should be penalized.”

First I want to say that I agree 100 percent with the bill. The only issue I have is that it must be enforced equally and across the board.

What do I mean? Well, I can’t tell you how many law enforcement officers I see every day here in Allegany County. I have on occasion seen a local state delegate talking on his handheld phone.

OK, their jobs may require them to have to talk to some one on the phone, but they need to obey the laws and pull over.

Before anyone asks, yes, I have been guilty of talking and driving and had I gotten caught I would have deserved to be penalized and so should they.

So my question to everyone is, “Do you believe an officer would write up a fellow officer or a state delegate for using a handheld device?”

I now have OnStar active in my car to avoid using my cell while driving. I think the law is a great idea, but once again, it has to be enforced across the board. There cannot be an exception for anyone!

Here is an example of what I am talking about. On March 22, my girlfriend was heading west on Interstate 68 when she noticed a law enforcement office in a marked cruiser coming up behind her in the same lane when he pulled out to pass her.

Once past her, he then pulled back in front of her using no turn signal, cutting her off while he was holding an talking on his handheld cell phone.

My last question is this: Do we as citizens have the power to have a citation issued to someone for breaking the this law? When I say someone, I am including everyone regardless of their job.

Anyone who is my age may remember the Andy Griffith Show when Barney gave Gomer a ticket for making a U-turn in town, and right after that Barney made a U-turn and Gomer jumped out yelling “Citizens arrest! Citizens arrest!” and wanted to give Barney a ticket.

If anyone knows the correct answer to that, please e-mail me at boweble21502@gmail.com.

Robert J. Clark

Cumberland

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