Cops Catch Minnesota Man Driving While Reading

Sadly, he wasn’t reading Christine.

Fox 9

The ubiquity of smartphones means distracted driving is a bigger risk than ever, but for one man in Eagan, Minnesota, there’s nothing like being distracted the old-fashioned way: He was caught reading a novel while driving down the highway.

To be fair, he owned up to it pretty quickly when the Eagan P.D. pulled him over for weaving back and forth across Highway 149.

“I was reading,” he confessed.

“You were reading? Why were you doin’ that?” the officer said.

“I don’t know,” he said, voice dripping with a third-grader’s I-know-I’ve-messed-up tone.

And what book was so compelling, so perfectly matched to the thrill of the open road that he couldn’t put it down? On The Road? Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test?

Nope. A James Patterson novel.

Sadly, the dash cam video of the incident doesn’t include the driver mentioning which James Patterson novel he was reading; if it did, we’d be tempted to start an IndieGogo campaign to buy him the audiobook version. (That said, we were always more Stephen King fans, so maybe we’ll order him a digital copy of The Stand instead. That ought to keep him busy for a few months.)

And as much as we find the whole encounter’s deleted-scene-from-Fargo feel amusing, we’d like to join the Eagan Police Department, the NTSB, and pretty much every authority figure in the automotive realm to remind you that distracted driving is a terrible, terrible idea, and you should never ever read anything behind the wheel. Not even this website.

Or, to quote the wonderfully Minnesotan humor of Eagan Police Department spokesman Aaron Machtemes, “Stay alive: Don’t novel and drive.”