• Jul 1, 2008

California joined thirty-two other states today when a new law banning unlimited cellphone use in automobiles went into effect at midnight. The new rules prohibit drivers from holding cellphones to their ears while talking, yet they are still allowed to dial the phone to place the call... and freely text message. While the law won't likely have a huge effect on many adult drivers who have become accustomed to using speaker-phones and hands-free devices such as Bluetooth-enabled earpieces (as if that really helps), it is the young drivers who face tough new rules. The law in the Golden State now bans drivers under the age of 18 from using any kind of mobile device while driving. All drivers face the same slap-on-the-wrist if caught. The first offense is only $20, with the fee bumped to $50 for additional convictions. Of course, that number will rapidly increase if other infractions or penalties are applied.

[Source: Los Angeles Times, Photo by David McNew/Getty]



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  • 35 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I just going to hang my cell phone from the rearview mirror and put it on speaker. Booyah!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't care if they talk on the phone or not. I care if they know how to drive.

      It amazes me how SOOOooo many people don't understand that driving a multi-thousand pound vehicle is their primary task..not a cell conversation, not putting on mascera, read the papaer, etc.

      Pisses me off to no end.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now if only they'll enforce it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My friend said his locale has this law already and he sees people breaking it all the time. Stupid and bad drivers drive bad whether they are on they have are handsfree or not.

        Studies show it really doesn't make much of a difference.
        • 6 Years Ago
        kballs and Xcountryflyer..
        If possible, please site sources.
        Plenty of people refer to the "Studies show.." or "They say.." But, it isn't very often anyone sites a reliable source. Reliable = NHTSA, etc.. Car and Driver and Consumer Reports don't count.
        I'll be waiting.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here's an idea, fine people who BREAK RULES, not people who COULD break rules! We don't need MORE laws that officers will enforce over the top of the rules that actually help things out.

      Example: FINE THE PRICKS WHO DO NOT USE TURN SIGNALS!
        • 6 Years Ago
        You mean cops?
        I see as many cops not signaling as I do regular drivers.
        Sad, but true.
        • 6 Years Ago
        +1, I am with Vintage. Is it really needed to stop someone capable of driving and using a cell phone who is not breaking any laws? How about just ticketing for any poor driving associated to talking on the cell phone? Makes sense to me.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A similar law took effect in Washington State today.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hello low ranked.

        You caught me, I posted without reading. It says 32 other states.
      • 6 Years Ago
      SOLUTION: Car manufacturers should build cars that automatically turn on hazard lights or other indicators while the operator (driver) is on the phone, hands-free or not. This way, we can identify these bozos and stay away from the hazard.
      • 6 Years Ago
      In principle - you can't talk, but you can write while driving. What kind of idiot came up with that?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hate lawmakers taking away our personal liberties, but this law actually makes sense.

      Have you ever noticed a driver in front of you either driving too slow or seems to be a little out of it (swerving, not using turn-signals, etc)? I have--and 90% of the time the driver is chatting away or texting.

      They say that driving and talking on a cellphone is like having 2 drinks. I agree.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Pretty sure swerving and failure to signal are already laws. The police just don't enforce them because they're too busy catching revenue, I mean speeders.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I know this is much harder to keep track of, but try to count the people talking on the phone NOT driving badly. Plenty of us manage that feat regularly.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They've also proven that using the phone up to your ear and handsfree has the same effects on driving.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "I hate lawmakers taking away our personal liberties"

        No you dont, you seem to be quite willing to give away your liberty.
        • 6 Years Ago
        We already have laws against those things. They are not enforced.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well all our local new stations here in san diego been reporting on this daily for 2 weeks now and they keep saying the first fine will be 97 bux and second and reccuring offenses will be 211 bux, i have no idea where this 20 bux fine is comming from.. and i for one am so happy this finally goes into effect, i drive 250 miles daily in a semi and see the stupidest things on the raod all day long and it usually people on the phone, and driving is simply there very last concern, or ull be crusing right along and all of a sudden outta nowhere the driver in front of ya looses 10mph quickly and up comes the phone to the ear !!

      One thing id like to know about is all our drivers use nextell walkie talkies and not sure what the cops are gonna do about them...

      Also i find it odd you are still allowed to text while driving, the one thing i wont do, it takes your eyes off the road way too long ! if ya ask me they should have included reading and makeup applying , or people trying to eat a 3 handed burrito !
        • 6 Years Ago
        How about banning truckers using CB radios?
        • 6 Years Ago
        How about banning truckers using CB radios?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Voice technology in cars will only get bigger and bigger, yes? Isn't this a natural for safety...and productivity?

      http://blogs.cisco.com/news/comments/look_ma_no_hands/
      • 6 Years Ago
      Will this new law also apply to orange and white flame painted dune buggies with handicapped placards hanging from the rear view mirror?

      The background of that picture of just phenomenal.
        • 6 Years Ago
        yeah, nice dune buggy back there.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hell, yeah. That's all I even noticed. Gotta love the Manx.

        Oh, and whoopee for the cell-phone law thing, or whatever.
      s13hybrid
      • 6 Years Ago
      If she wasn't on her phone she would have noticed that sweet dune buggy about to hit her!!
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