New California Law Bans Mobile Phones While Driving

Does not cover texting

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Beginning on July 1 a new hands free mobile phone law goes into effect in California.

Motorists face a $20 fine plus fees for a first offense and a $50 fine plus fees for a second violation. Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a mobile phone or a hands free device while operating a motor vehicle.

Drivers will be allowed to use a mobile phone while driving to make emergency calls to a law enforcement agency, a medical provider, the fire department or other emergency agencies.

The penalty for driving while taking on a mobile phone will not include receiving a point on motorists licenses, but it will appear on their driving record. Drivers who violate the law can be pulled over by the police.

Strangely the law does not address or cover text messaging. State Sen. Joe Simitian, who authored the bill said when he began working on the bill in 2001 texting was not an issue. The Democratic lawmaker says he is working on a new bill that would outlaw text messaging.

"There are more and more people out there on the highway and the CHP (California Highway Patrol) has collected data every year showing that cell phones are the number one cause of distracted drivers," Simitian told Reuters.

New California Law Bans Mobile Phones While Driving
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  • http://www.magicalwonders.com Myles

    Why do law makers have to over complicate matters? If a law is introduced to simply ban the use of mobiles when driving, how can people then use them to text without breaking the law?

    The $20 dollar penalty is a joke. Here in the U.K. the penalty for first offence is £60 ($120) plus three points on license. 12 points on a license results in automatic disqualification. That may seem harsh, but it is very effective.


    • http://www.jazz-trio.com Jazz

      Effective? Hardly! – I’m always amazed at how many people I still see blatently using their phone whilst driving, including a London bus driver last week. There’s no point in having the legislation if there is no one to enforce it.

    • http://www.fincalinkup.com John

      Its an offense in Spain now to use a mobile phone whilst driving but we are expected to be contactable 24 hours a day now and deciding not to answer a phone that is ringing at even the most inconvenient moment it is regarded as some kind of incompetence.

  • http://www.yummyfood.net Yummyfood

    A study from AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety  analyzed 26.000 car accidents and discovered  only 2% were caused by the use of a cellphone while driving.
    Most common cause:
    20% were cause by an external event.
    19% were caused by eating or drinking
    In my opinion, tuning a station on the car stereo, looking for the title of a CD, or looking at your GPS navigator  are as much distracting as  making a phonecall.  Do we have to forbid all these devices?
    When they introduced the use of hands free devices in Italy I thought it was a move to sell brand new bluetooth devices.  Now  I’m even more convinced.


  • http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com ron

    They should also ban mother inlaws and other back seat distractions…

  • Brad

    The new California mobile phone law is a joke.  All kinds of things can be distracting in a car.  They key to safety is to teach people how to drive carefully and deal with distractions. For instance, you need to learn not to manipulate your car radio while driving 5 feet behind somebody.  You do it when you’re driving 100 feet behind somebody so you have time to react if anything happens while you momentarily take your eyes off the road.

    If we’re going to ban talking on the phone while driving, then we should probably also ban all of these things while driving:

    1) Talking to the passenger sitting next to you
    2) Combing your hair
    3) Applying makeup
    4) Changing the radio station
    5) Fiddling with your GPS unit
    6) Looking out the side windows

    Driving is dangerous and people need to be trained to drive responsibliy and cope safely with distractions.  The key is in the training, not in the banning.

    What will it look like when each state starts banning various things you might possibly do in your car? I can just see driving across the country with a big cheat sheet showing all the things I am am not allowed to do in the various states. I can talk on the phone in Arizona but not California.  I can come my hair in Illinois but not Iowa. In New Hampshire I’m not allowed to talk to my passenger.  No putting on lipstick in Oregon.  C’mon people…  Knocki it off with the silly laws.  It will have little to possibly no impact whatsoever.

    • Sue

      you shouldn’t be doing any of the things you described while driving!

      1) Talking to the passenger sitting next to you
      2) Combing your hair
      3) Applying makeup
      4) Changing the radio station
      5) Fiddling with your GPS unit
      6) Looking out the side windows

      The most important thing to being a good driver is to pay attention to the road and be a good defensive driver!

      Because of all the drivers who are not paying attention to what is going on around them while navigating a car, I need to get them to see me, so that they do not hit me.

      Why do you need to be combing your hair while driving? do it before you get into the car or after you arrive at your destination.  The same with putting on make-up… the car is not a beauty salon. set up your GPS and radio before you put the car into drive!

      Call me before you get on the road so that I can call everyone to be aware of the crazy driver who doesn’t take driving seriously,

      Driving is a privilege not a requirement! Learn the rules of the road and just drive!


      • Allen Wuori

        You must be the most self-disciplined driver ever!  I have never heard of anyone who didn’t do ANY of these things on the list. You are the very first one (and probably the ONLY one)!  Maybe you are a robot?

      • Guest

        Actually, "Looking out the side windows" is REQUIRED for being a competent driver.  How else are you going to see your side view mirrors while making a lane change or turning?  How are you going to check to ensure when you make a lane change that there isn’t someone next to you if you don’t look out the side window?  I’d sure hate to be in the next lane when you are making a lane change! 

      • Guest

        Sue you have just proven that you shouldn’t be driving anything. If you aren’t looking out the side window of your car than you are danger to everyone around you. that means you are changing lanes without looking in your mirrors or anything.
        You can’t tell me that you don’t talk to anyone else that is in your car when you are driving. And i would bet that you have changed the radio and messed with your hair when it got in your eyes before.
        Don’t try telling me that you are perfect because there is no such thing.

    • Ryan Kempf

      Hey Brad  I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU I think its darn CRAZY that COMON SENSE HAS GONE OUT THE WINDOW  so we have to make laws to make up for it how  SILLY I think  eventually we are going to have so many laws no amount of books will be able to hold them

  • Guest

    I use my cell phone to wake me up when i feel sleepy  while driving. Would this include wired headphones? Besides, phone call and driving is integral  part of my daily job.

  • http://websearchmaven.blogspot.com/ search maven

    If the phones don’t kill you than the artificial everthing will
    there seems to be radiation in everything you choose to use.

    probaly better no to use those phones

  • http://www.california-health-insurance.com Betty Gavin

    This is pretty silly.  I will talk on my cell phone if I want to.

    • Guest

      well than i guess we will be hearing from you when you get a ticket or cause a wreck.

  • http://webintelhome.com Webintel

    1st, I guess we need to talk about the driver of a Lincon Continental that was driving with his left leg crossed over his right knee, steering with his left knee while using his lap top in the seat next to him and his paper work spread across the steering wheel.

    Or how about the woman traveling at 70 on the free way reading a book that was resting in the center of her steering wheel.

    Or the guy going down the road with the blonde’s face in his lap, not certain, but something must have happened cause his steering got real eradic and he had trouble staying in his own lane for a ways.

    What a about the woman with the little dog resting on the steering wheel?

    Now, I’m not making these up, driving a big truck has it’s advantages when traveling; amongst those advantages is the ability to see into the cars alongside.  Another advantage is that if one of those idiots run into you, usually the impact is below your feet. 


  • http://www.mobiclue.com mobiclue

    Its a pretty old law in India ,not to drive while using mobile phones .

    • Guest

      and just when did the US become India

  • http://www.jclis.com Ricky

    This is Good! Now I won’t miss stop lights or get cut off by people on the phone not paying attention!

    • Guest

      right you believe that lol

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