Beat the new Anti-Texting While Driving Laws!

This January, here in Oregon, a new law passed which makes texting or talking on the phone while driving a crime. So now when I switch music tracks on my iPhone or tap the screen to view my GPS location or click on the “next” button for Google Map directions, I run the risk of being pulled over for texting. Apparently they’d prefer that I go back to the old-fashioned method of buying giant paper 4′ x 6′ maps of all the cities I drive in so I can unfold it in front of my face while doing 75 on the Interstate. Yes, an unlit map that covers the entire windshield is much safer. But I digress…

Texting is illegal. And talking on your cell phone without a hands-free contraption is illegal. But you know what isn’t illegal while driving? Eating breakfast. And putting on your makeup. And opening your mail. And changing music tracks on your car stereo. And…reading a book. I’m pretty sure there’s no specific law against reading a book while driving. So I came up with an an ingenious way to fool the police officers trying to enforce this new law. Hide my cell phone in a book! I call it The Phone Book.

I used a Dremel tool to cut a hole in this book, 130 pages deep, so that my cell phone fits snugly inside of it. Now when I pass an officer, nose buried in a book, he’ll just think I’m engrossed in a gripping horror story and not actually breaking any laws by texting my BFF Jill. Here are a few pictures of the construction of this amazing project.

Cell by Stephen King. Not a bad
remake of all his other stories.
Looks like it’ll fit nicely inside this book.
A pencil line trace of my iPhone.

The only downside to this project is that it’s slightly harder to control my car when driving 75 MPH around town since I have to use one hand to hold the book and the other to actually type the messages to my friends and then mostly my knee to try and keep the steering wheel straight. I’ve nearly lost control a few times, but I think it’s very unlikely that I’ll be noticed by the police. And if they do pull me over for any other offenses, my cell phone will be hidden safely in my book where he won’t even notice it.

“Were you by any chance texting while swerving all over the place back there?” he’ll ask me.

“Why no officer. Do you see a cell phone in my car?” I’ll reply.

You can click here to find out if texting and/or talking on a cell phone is illegal in your state. If it is, you just may want to invest in a Dremel and make yourself a Phone Book too. As an added bonus, you’ll have a few pages of something to read while you’re impatiently waiting for that text message back from your friend while driving.

UPDATE AND DISCLAIMER: Joseph from Kansas City emailed me this morning and informed me that carving a secret compartment into your Amazon Kindle version of Cell does not work and should not be attempted. Apparently this will completely ruin your Kindle! I’m unsure if other brands of ebooks will have similar consequences, but it’s probably best not to try if you’re not familiar with electronics. It’s also unknown if this hack will work on other paper books besides Stephen King’s Cell. I’ve only tried it on Cell, so if you ruin your copy of Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer with this, don’t blame me because I only guarantee that it works on the paperback version of Cell.

Brad Carter

I run this town.

15 thoughts on “Beat the new Anti-Texting While Driving Laws!

  • February 6, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    You should consider patenting this idea and selling copies of The Phone Book on eBay. And then hiring some corporate lobbyists to protect your interests just in case they try to make reading while driving illegal, too.

    And hey, my grandpa reads the newspaper while driving and he hasn’t been in an accident yet. So it just might work!

  • February 7, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Hey RBCP, I’ve detected a trojan when going on a couple days ago. What gives? Is it a joke virus from you, or has your website been infected, and if so, is the infection gone? Thanks.

  • February 12, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Here in the UK we’ve had similar laws ie: Not using a mobile phone whilst at the wheel for a few years now. However, it does at least seem to give allowances for using a phone at the wheel for purposes other than making a call.

    There was a court case recently when well-known (in the UK anyway) comedian Jimmy Carr (he’s shit by the way) was charged with using his iPhone at his car wheel, even though parked at a red light at the time.

    He was found innocent of the charge against him, because he had been using his phone to quickly check his emails, therefore not for telephony purposes, therefore not guilty.

  • February 12, 2010 at 2:12 am

    P.S: Common sense seems to apply to these laws in the UK, because someone can be charged if they are significantly distracted from attention to driving, so that cover stuff like eating/drinking at 60mph as well as phone use when dangerous to do so in a car.

  • February 16, 2010 at 4:50 am

    sometimes i’ll do a “jew” york times crosswords puzzle whilst driving….but not a monday tho….fuck a monday puzzle….monday puzzles are just too goddamned easy!

  • March 21, 2010 at 12:16 am

    I actually had a copy of that version of the book. Sadly its gone now, so i’ll never have a Phone Book.

  • May 11, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Texting while driving is wrong, as are all other driving distractions. An email or text messages is not worth taking someone’s life. If you insist on doing it, at least consider hands-free texting alternatives like TextnDrive ( They won’t eliminate the problem, but at least it’s a safer solution than handling a phone while driving.

  • May 26, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    So the solution is to look like you’re reading instead? The police are probably still going to pull you over still, where I live it is illegal to read books/newspapers when driving already. They are rolling out a new law called distracted drivers law and pretty much you can get a ticket for doing anything that is considered distracting when driving.

  • Pingback: Athens Road Warrior Day One without texting | Athens Road Warrior

  • November 14, 2010 at 8:33 am

    maybe, one day, one of your loved ones will die a horrific violent death because someone was texting while driving. then you will understand, that it is NOT funny.

  • February 11, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Isn’t this supposed to be common sense? I am doing a report on Texting While driving and I do not approve of it. Do you have any idea how many people have lost a friend, family member, or simply loved one, due to the consequences of texting in the car? I do not think that reading a book would be any different than texting.

  • September 2, 2011 at 11:10 am

    This better be a fucking joke, because idiots who text and drive are a danger not only to themselves but to others as well. If anything I think the fines should be higher for losers caught texting while at the wheel.

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