What's Right With This Video: Distracted Driving Edition

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
what s right with this video distracted driving edition

Did I mention that I got my first traffic ticket in almost five years the other day? It was in New York, and it was for looking down at the Droid phone in my hand at a red light. The cop walked right off the sidewalk to ticket me. That’s the crummy part about the city: it’s tough to duck the cops when they’re sneaking around on foot.

At least he saved me from certain death from holding a phone while operating a motor vehicle (at a stoplight), right? I mean, everybody knows it’s not possible to drive and hold something at the same time. Or is it? Perhaps I’ll send a copy of this video along with my $150…

Take a look at this: it’s Bruno Senna driving around Spa while holding some type of handheld camera, possibly a camera phone. While Senna isn’t exactly running at the bleeding edge here, he’s working a lot harder than any of us would on the street. Look for young Mr. Senna to get a call from the FIA before long: they don’t like it when racers pull stunts like this.

As fate would have it, I’m considering a little experiment to be conducted some time in the next months: lap times around a road course with and without a hand-held phone conversation. I’ve taken calls on tracks before, always without bloodshed, but I’m a little leery of openly doing an experiment like this. What if there’s almost no change in the lap time? Is that my “fault”? What would it say? Could it be argued that a racetrack is, fundamentally, a much simpler and more predictable environment than day-to-day traffic? Are there any New York cops hiding hiding in the bushes at VIR?

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5 of 41 comments
  • DenverMike DenverMike on May 02, 2011

    Driving is a distraction in itself as anything other than looking at what's ahead of you, or is about to be, is a deadly distraction. Stay home if any of this, including the way I use my phone, is a problem for you. Keep your kids home too. Won't bother one... Your wife? What does she look like?

  • Jimal Jimal on May 02, 2011

    Like helmet laws and seatbelt laws, distracted driving laws are yet another attempt by lawmakers to legislate common sense. The result is a population with less and less common sense every day.

  • Msquare Msquare on May 03, 2011

    Cop is dead stinking wrong. The car was stopped at a light, which means it was not moving. But the Traffic Violations Bureau in NYC is crooked as hell, so beating it will be tough. Fight it anyway.

  • Sam P Sam P on May 03, 2011

    Baruth broke the law and got caught. My advice to him is as follows. Suck it up and pay the fine instead of posting on TTAC and trying to justify your actions.