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California “Hands Free” Law in Effect

    2 minute read

     The bill that was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger back in 2006, banning the use of hand held mobile devices while operating a motor vehicle, is set to go into effect on July 1, 2008. The Governor believes that the new hands free law will make the roads safer.

    He said, “The simple fact is it’s dangerous to talk on your cell phone while driving. CHP data show that cell phones are the number one cause of distracted-driving accidents. So getting people’s hands off their phones and onto their steering wheels is going to make a big difference in road safety. The ‘Hands-Free’ cell phone bill will save lives by making our roads safer. I want to thank Senator Simitian for authoring this bill and for his commitment to the safety of his fellow Californians.”

    What the law states:

    • The law prohibits drivers from using any type of hand held mobile device while driving, beginning on July 1, 2008.
    • Drivers can make emergency phone calls with their hand-held phone.
    • Commercial drivers may use push-to-talk phones until July 1, 2011
    • Emergency Response drivers may use hand held mobile devices
    • Drivers under the age of 18 are not permitted to use any type of mobile device while driving; even if it is a hands free device.

    It is still encouraged to not use your cell phone at all while driving. Although using a hands free device is better, it does not completely eliminate the distraction of talking on the phone. If you can, please pull over to the side of the road to make any necessary phone calls.

    If you are caught driving in California while talking on your hand held device, you will receive a $20 ticket on your first offense. If you get caught again, the fine goes up to $50. Right now, you will not receive any points on your driver’s license for violating this law, but law enforcement officers can pull you over solely for this violation.

    The law goes into effect on July 1, 2008. There is no grace period; so make sure you get your hands free device in time.

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