Distracted drivers existed well before the advent of cellphones, and will likely exist long after such devices are shrunk to the size of a thumbnail and implanted under our skins at birth. In the meantime, many drivers will try to split their attention to the road with their work -- and one of the worst such offenders was caught hauling not just a phone or laptop, but an entire mobile office.
Police in the Saarland region of Germany pulled over a Ford Mondeo wagon last week for going about 130 km/h mph in a 100 zone. Inside they found a Staples shopping spree in the front seat: a laptop with docking station, a router and wi-fi antenna tied to a cellular data stick, a printer and a power inverter to keep it all humming. The driver had taken some precautions toward distracted driving by mounting his cellphone to the windshield for hands-free use.
The setup looks messy and dangerous -- but as American police are finding, writing a ticket for distracted driving requires a tough level of proof. The German authorities didn't cite the Mondeo driver for any violations, because they didn't see him playing Michael Scott behind the wheel. I hope he's not one of those readers who needs to print out his emails to read them.