The Fuzzy Dice Stay in the Picture – Maybe

I must confess that I had never given any thought to whether people should be allowed to drive around with crosses, crystals, and so forth hanging from the rear view mirror. The Connecticut Supreme Court brought the issue to my attention yesterday with a ruling that said yes, mostly.

It seems that a state trooper had stopped Gregory Cyrus in Danielson because there was a cross dangling from the rear-view mirror. The cross itself was one and three-quarter inches tall and was hanging from a chain that was ten inches. Once the trooper made the stop, he proceeded to charge Cyrus with drunken driving and driving without a license.

The trooper omitted any mention of whether the cross distracted Cyrus or obstructed his view. Without that information, the conviction couldn’t stand and so all the charges were thrown out, the state high court ruled.

The justices ruled four to three, so three of them believed the trooper could have “reasonably suspected” that the cross distracted or obstructed. The problem with this position, it seems to me, is that unless the officer says that’s what was on his mind, there’s no basis to pull over a motorist. Of course if the guy was drunk, a small cross probably created the least of his distractions.

So now it’s clear that if the item obstructs the driver’s view, it’s got to go. Does that mean that we’ll no longer see “Baby on Board” signs? They aren’t as common as they used to be. It seems they flunk on both counts. They obscure part of the window and they sure infuriate other motorists, which is also a distraction. What about those full-window sun blockers parents of little kids put over the rear window on the side where they stash the kid? Those  obstruct the view because they blur what’s on the outside.

I certainly don’t intend to pick on little kids here, so I’m assuming that the one- or two-inch fuzzy dice are OK. But what about the huge ones that hang almost to the dashboard? My guess is that those will have to go.

And where do we draw the line? The crystals loved by New Age folk are distracting to other drivers since they look like small versions of flashing lights from rescue vehicles. I’ve never owned any, but my guess is that they send rainbow colored lights bouncing all over the inside of the car. But I guess we will have to wait for further explication of the obstructed view theory.


One Response to “The Fuzzy Dice Stay in the Picture – Maybe”

  1. Your Brain On … « Lizr128′s Blog Says:

    […] about to update distracted driving (second item in “Good News,” “Oprah Joins the Fray,” “The Fuzzy Dice Stay in the Picture – Maybe” ). Then Terry Gross conducted “Digital Overload,” an interview with Matt Richtel, who won a […]

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