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Ari Gold's Lament

Posted by: David Welch on June 18, 2008

Ari Gold.jpg

Even if you’ve never been to Los Angeles, it’s not hard to picture an endless line of Californians queued up in their cars on Interstate 405 or California 101. They driving five miles an hour while yacking on their cell phones. If you can’t conjure up that image, watch obnoxious workaholic talent agent Ari Gold, played by actor Jeremy Piven, on HBO’s series “Entourage” berating someone via his mobile and speeding in his Lexus. It’s a California scene. But only for a couple more weeks.

On July 1, California will enact a law that prohibits cell phone use while driving. The first offense will warrant a $76 fine and the second one will cost $190. What’s a body to do? Buy stock in makers of blue tooth technology. Terry Miller, the general sales manager of Galpin Motors, the nation’s largest Ford dealer, says his dealership has ramped up sales of blue tooth aftermarket devices and other hands-free talking technology so Californians can keep on gabbing at the wheel. They range from $150 to $600, depending on which bells and whistles one orders with it. The dealership is also pushing Ford’s Sync system, which allows drivers to make calls, search for music and use a few other functions on voice command. Someone better call Ari Gold. He’s going to rack up some fines.

Reader Comments


June 20, 2008 10:23 AM

Even with handsfree capability and voice dialing, the mental distraction of a telephone conversation can compromise the constant awareness and attention driving requires. Heavy informational, decision-related or emotional content can quickly relegate driving into almost an "autopilot" level of activity. Take the call, but say you are in traffic and will call back when you can pull over. There are enough causes for accidents already. Let's be safe out there.


June 20, 2008 3:40 PM

Thank God the law is finally going to go into effect. As a California driver, it always irritates me to see an erratic driver because of cell phone usage.

jo jo

June 24, 2008 5:49 PM

And now, Lucas, you will see erratic driving due to headset usage. The problem is not that you can not drive and holding a cell phone to your ear at the same time (if it is, maybe you shouldn't chew gum and drive as well.) The problem is your attention is being diverted from watching the road to concentrating on your conversation. This limited legislation is pointless and serves no one but bluetooth manufacturers: I'd like to see someone do a piece on what lobbyists were behind this useless law.

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Want the straight scoop on the auto industry? Our man in Detroit David Welch, brings keen observations and provocative perspective on the auto business.

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