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This morning near the end of my commute I saw something that made me smile … and I even pulled over to document it and share the occasion with you.
After a morning commute dealing with cars in the bike lanes and cars passing too closely, I was starting to ponder getting a video camera set-up and recording the hazards I encounter on a commute. Then, as I was heading east on Chicago Ave, I saw three bike police officers riding toward me. All of a sudden one of the officers did a u-turn. I had just stopped for a traffic light and thought he might be turning around to talk to me – “after all of my complaints about cars, had I done something wrong?”
But he bypassed me and he pulled his bike in front of a cab that was in the lane waiting to turn right and yelled to me – “He’s on a cell phone!” Surprised at first, I quickly shouted a “Thank You!” back to him as he proceeded with his official ticketing duties. Chicago instituted a law (categorized not as a moving violation, but as an equipment offense) against driving while using a handheld cell phone back in 2005, and apparently the city has even increased the imposed fine this year. Never have I seen this cell phone ban enforced and the enforcement has been debated over the years.
Of course I had to pull around onto the sidewalk and capture this fine moment. By the time I got my camera out, his backup had turned around and come back as support.
When he’d received the driver’s license and registration, he pulled his bike off the road and told me he wanted copies of my photos. Well, here you go, Officer.
Last January the Washington Post reported about the National Safety Council’s plan to lobby for a nationwide cell phone ban. But the law is only as good as the law enforcement.
Now I’m happy I can finally report that I’ve seen Chicago’s cell phone ban enforced. Thank you, Officer.