California First Lady Maria Shriver apologized after paparazzi snapped her driving while talking on a mobile phone, sans hands-free device. Husband and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger championed the state's “hands-free law,” which mandates that drivers must use hands-free devices such as Bluetooth headsets while using mobile phones behind the wheel.
“I'm sorry,” Shriver said. “I will be donating my favorite old cell phone to my Women's Conference partner Verizon through their HopeLine program that helps domestic violence shelters. I invite anyone else who wants to recycle their old phone to join me. That's my version of swift action with a higher purpose.”
There's been some outrage about Shriver flouting the law that has wrought countless tickets for less-heeled citizens (she was photographed while she was driving a black Cadillac Escalade SUV). Still, you have to snicker at the irony: Paps who often abuse traffic laws — speeding, unsafe lane changes, trading paint — to chase down celebs are attacking a first lady for doing something that was legal a few years ago.
And, is it us, or is this law in need in some evolution? Have you ever tried to use a hands-free Bluetooth device such as a Motorola T505? It's like docking the space shuttle. By the time you get hooked up, dial a number and start talking, you could have caused more derailments than the legislature trying to pass a budget. Maybe we need to go phone-free or just leave people and their cellies alone.