News

Hands-free cell phone law takes effect July 1

State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, and the California Highway Patrol are reminding drivers that they have to switch from hand-held cell phones to hands-free devices by July 1.

The new law, authored by Simitian, prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from using any type of cell phone while driving. Anyone over 18 can drive and talk on the phone while using a hands-free device.

More than 1,000 crashes were blamed on drivers using a hand-held cellular phone in 2007, injuring 447 people, according to the CHP.

Simitian and law enforcement officials are making a final push to get the word out before the deadline.

The first offense is a minimum penalty of $20 and $50 for subsequent offenses, according to the CHP.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Duane Nason
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Jun 19, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Sounds like a great idea. I'm not sure if a $20 fine will persuade drivers to stay off the phone though.
- Duane Nason


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2008 at 11:12 am

This was the strongest legislation that Simitian could pass at the time. Implementation was delayed in order to allow everyone to buy a phone that is hands-free compatible. In the meantime phone use by drivers has grown dramatically and now includes texting and other stupidities that are not addressed by this law. I give Joe credit for trying, but the Legislature is not keeping up with Californians' technology-driven bad habits.


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