Vermont’s Ban on Driving While Using Handheld Devices Begins Today! – A Guide to What You Can and Cannot Use

It’s finally here.  October 1st.  Starting today drivers in the state of Vermont will no longer be legally able to use handheld devices while driving.  For some people this will have no effect, since they have always held the view that operating a motor vehicle while doing something else at the same time is dangerous and stupid.  These people can continue to live out their morally superior lives with no changes.  For the other 98% of us though, it’s time to start making some adjustments.  But wait!  What can I do or not do now?  Can I use my phone as a GPS if I am not holding it?  Can I talk to Siri and have her do stuff for me?  What if I have a headset?  To help you out, I have compiled a useful list to reference while driving.  Ummm, I mean before driving.


The whole point of this thing is to ban phone use while driving, so clearly they are number one on the list.  No more talking, texting, watching youtube videos, or streaming Netflix while you drive to work.  Sorry people.  You are allowed to turn it off or on, but that’s all the touching that is allowed.  Oh, and you also are not allowed to attached your phone to your windshield.  Don’t ask me why, but that’s true.  It’s in the law.


This is a ban on handheld devices, so we must consider the definition of a device from a legal standpoint.  The dictionary says a device is a thing made for a specific purpose, an invention or a contrivance.  Since nobody invented your banana, it is not a device.  Feel free to eat it while driving.  But do not use your electric banana holder.  That is not allowed.


I hope you have a long playlist set up, because mp3 players are definitely devices, so scrolling through your music library while driving is no longer allowed.  Oh, unless you hook it up via the auxiliary audio port and control it through the non-handheld stereo controls in your car.  In that case, scroll away.  I’m sure you can find that one song you were thinking of eventually.  As long as you are staring at a list of files below the dashboard and not at a list of files in your hand it is perfectly safe.


Actually, as I read this new law, it specifically targets handheld electronic devices.  Electronics means circuits, computers, electricity, etc., so you can put your mascara on while you drive, but please leave the curling iron at home from now on.


Uh oh.  The steering wheel is an electronic handheld device that I often use while driving.  Crap.  That is going to make not dying a lot harder.  Wait, I know!  I will only use my knees to steer from now on.  Perfect.  There is, as far as I know, no current law prohibiting the use of electronic kneeheld devices while driving.  Starting today we must all drive with our knees.  Or foreheads.


Wait, what?!  I can’t talk on my phone, but I can talk on my CB or amateur radio?  How does that make sense?!  It’s like saying we can’t play CDs in the car, but we can play phonographs while driving.  I mean, there is a specific exemption written into the law for this!  And that, my friends, is the power of unions.  Join one today.


Yeah, the law doesn’t really say this, but just stop smoking.  Why do you hate yourself and the world so much that you feel the need to smoke?  Nobody smokes anymore.  So let’s just do everyone a favor and assume that they are “devices” and not allowed from now on.


Just the regular french horns can be played while driving, not the electric french horn, which is a staple of every modern rock band and folk duo.  Sorry, electric french horn players.

If you are wondering about another, more specifically weird item, you can easily apply the base knowledge of the law to any object.  Do you hold it in your hand?  Is it a device?  Is it in anyway electronic?  So, like, a 12″ sandwich is fine, but an e-cigarette is not.  Lipstick is okay to apply, but don’t even think about checking your pocketwatch.  I hope this has been helpful, and if you have any questions, please contact a lawyer.  Or someone who actually knows anything about this law.  And then let me know.  Thanks.

Posted in Banana, Driving, iPhone, iPod, Phone, Police, Smoking, Vermont.

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