A few days ago I wrote about my search for a new car and the negative experience I had with one local dealer, who I’m not naming, publicly. (All of you who have emailed directly to ask who it is, know that I’ll be glad to name them, privately.)

The lease is up on my current car next weekend so there is no time to waste. Last night, I wrote across today’s date on my desk calendar “Find a Car”, so this morning, off I went.

I love clothes but I’m very disciplined when I shop for them; I’m not much on Chevrolet-Camaroexpensive jewelry…on the rare occasions that I have a little extra money, I’d rather spend it on travel. But when it comes to cars…I’m such a Baby Boomer. Pre-children, I drove Camaro’s…an SS 350, then a Z28. The need for speed must come from all the time I spent watching smoke rise off the line at Vargo’s Dragway.

But I digress: After hours of tire kicking today, I settled on the the make and model of car I wanted, which in my middle-age has become what the industry describes as a “sport sedan”, designed so my middle-aged friends can get in and out of the back seat. The local dealer had two of them. Now comes the negotiation. One fit my budget perfectly. The other had more bells, whistles, and gadgets and was above my budget. Just as I was about to be sensible and take the first one, the salesperson says to me, “This one (the more expensive one) has the complete technology package.

He went on, “Allentown just passed a cell phone ban and the system in this car will sync with your phone for totally hands-free operation…just touch a button on the steering wheel to answer the phone. You know the fines for violating the new cell phone ban start at $150. With all the time you spend in your car on the phone you could save a lot of money.”

He had me at hello. It was all the excuse I needed. I pick the car up next week.

Thanks Allentown City Council.

9 thoughts on “Allentown’s Cell Phone Ban & My Car Saga”

  1. I like the Camaro picture. Too bad dreams and practicality seldom meet. What do you call it when you buy a car and one of your criteria is making sure your elderly family members can get in and out of the backseat?

    1. Hi Chris,

      Yes, weren’t those “real” Camaros great? 0 to 60 in 5 seconds.
      Those were the days, 5 miles to the gallon and gas was a buck.

      What do you call that criteria for buying a car? Life.

  2. Pam, be careful. It is reported that the unintended acceleration of toyotas is also a factor in other new cars. The problem stems from a technological issue. The sheilding of ‘by wire’ applications such as steering and braking, as well as other engine functions including acceleration is insufficient to deter cell phone and other electronicsd usage from interfering. The data available suggests that the newer cars coupled with cell phones are a recipe for disaster. This is a problem that will get worse, not better, as more electronic cars are produced, and more powerful eletronics are sold. Even TV and internet wireless will soon be affecting cars more often, because today’s cars were not designed for the current wave of applications available to consumers. Allentown’s cell phone ban will turn out to have been prescient, for reasons other than what was originally stated. IMHO you have to be crazy to use a cell phone in a new car. It is not only a bad choice and often a safety issue in older cars, but a clear danger in new ones. Be careful. We don’t want to lose your voice. Cars with the phone wired in are the worst culprits. I can offer you people to talk to who can confirm the science of this. Ask around at Lehigh U, talk to the shop teachers at LCTI, talk to our mutual friend, Peter.

    Just saying.

    1. Dick,

      I had no idea there were such problems. I will certainly look in to it as well as ask our mutual friend.

      This issue aside, I’m still very excited about my new car and all it’s high-tech capabilities.

      Thanks for being concerned.

  3. Mike Schlossberg

    Pam, I almost never write comments on blogs (actually, this might be the first time I have done so), but I was cracking up when I read this. Happy to help! 🙂

    1. Michael,

      I’m honored that you choose Perspectives to break your blog ban. And glad that you enjoyed contributing to my choice of a new car. 🙂

  4. I’ll be thrilled when I go car buying in the next couple of years. My car is 10 years old and doesn’t even have a CD player, much less the ability to talk through my steering wheel. I’m so behind the times. I have to use an actual key to unlock the doors. These days, I feel like I’m just one step above horse and buggy.

    Have fun with your new car!

    1. Oh Kathy, that’s good…one step above horse and buggy. I’d say if it has an engine, you are many steps above…

      Everyone has their priorities. As I mentioned in the post, I’m pretty conservative when it comes to my choices: I live in a modest home, don’t buy expensive jewelry or clothes, but oh how I love my car, so I always stretch my budget to the max to drive something that I enjoy. This new one, which I pick up on Friday, is going to be a challenge. I wonder how long it will take to figure how how to work all that technology.

      If you call my cell phone and you hear the radio playing instead, please be patient !

  5. Can someone please clarify what in the world Dick Nepon is trying to say here? Does it make any sense to anyone? I’ve read it three or four times and I can’t make any sense of it whatsoever. Are TVs going to control cars? Are pigs flying and tables teleporting themselves into our kitchens now?

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