Ban on Hand-Held Cell Phone Use by Drivers, Fail!

DC Cop on Cell Phone

Picture is a bit fuzz and of poor quality, but I caught a DC cop driving through Georgetown, while chatting away on his cell phone sans hands-free device.

Now while I’ll admit to being occasionally guilty of talking on my cell while driving, shouldn’t our cops be exemplars of the code of law?  Granted they’re only human, but come on!  The least they can obey common laws while on duty, in uniform and driving a police car!

In DC, I’ve seen specific police traps that target motorists on cell phones.  In fact, there’s often one not far from where this picture was taken. Surely, this cop has never been a part of those traps or ticketed anyone for cellphone violation that he himself is guilt of.  I mean that would just reek of hypocrisy.

A question that occurs to me is: Could another DC Cop ticket this guy for the violation?  Of course that would be a blatant violation of the Brotherhood of the Cop, but feasibly is that possible? Can an on duty officer receive a ticket?

Rebecca Johnson

A born and bred New Yorker, Rebecca made the big trip “down south” to DC in 2006 and hasn’t looked back. She spends her days strategizing/planning/ideating how interactive products can help her clients and change the world. In her free time, she explores DC’s ever expanding bar, restaurant and small business scene, plays a crap ton of soccer, attends concerts that contribute to her sleep deprivation and embarks on local adventures. Read why Rebecca loves DC or follow her on twitter.

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6 thoughts on “Ban on Hand-Held Cell Phone Use by Drivers, Fail!

  1. Yes, an on-duty cop is bound to the same laws everyone else is, except for speeding while in hot pursuit or other things that he/she may have to do in order to fulfill the job roles. They can get tickets but you will never see that happen.

  2. Wouldn’t it be nice to see these guys get the tickets for once? While I find the DC Cellphone law onerous and a bit security-theatre, I think the Police ought comply with their own rules…

  3. Reminds me of an old Andy Griffith episode where Goober chases Barney down the street yelling “Citizens Arrest Citizens Arrest” after Barney did an illegal u-turn.

    Yes…I’m old.

  4. Thanks for the flashback, Marc. We old guys need to stick together.

    Tom, it would be nice. I think sensible enforcement of laws is a good idea but also the police should be upholding the law partly through proper demonstration of how it should be observed. If they can’t be role models and can’t be bothered to follow the rules, they probably have no business being cops.

  5. In NY (I don’t know about DC) law enforcement personnel are allowed to use their cellphones while driving if they are using it for official business. Personal calls are still prohibited (but it’s not like you can tell the difference).

  6. He also appears to be driving with no hands. Either he has exceptional knee skills, or the car wasn’t actually moving at this time?

    But that’s just a technicality. Though an important one, since the law says you can’t talk on the phone while in a _moving_ vehicle. This is also a technicality that the cop who gave me a ticket while I was checking my voicemail at a red light seemed unaware of.

    But anyway I agree with the point of your post… and DC cops (as well as cops everywhere else on earth) break the same traffic laws that they ticket the rest of for all the time. They run red lights, speed, fail to use their turn signal, drive like jerks, whatever.

    But isn’t that why most people become cops? Exactly so you can do all that stuff?