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Video: Calif. Updates Hands-Free Phone Law

September 27, 2016

VIDEO: Calif. Expands Cell Phone Restrictions

California Governor Jerry Brown on Sept. 26 signed into law a bill that updates and expands state restrictions on the manual use of mobile phones and electronic devices while driving.

The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2017, broadens the state’s existing hands-free law to include actions beyond just texting and having a phone conversation.

Drivers will be prohibited from manually operating a phone or other electronic device for any purpose while driving — whether they’re shooting or watching videos, playing games, scrolling through an itunes playlist, or updating social media.

However, if a phone is in a car mount holder affixed to the windshield or dashboard and isn’t obstructing the driver’s view, the driver is still permitted to activate a function with a single swipe or tap.

Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) introduced the bill back in February. After the law goes into effect next January, a first infraction will be punishable by a $20 fine. Subsequent violations will each carry a $50 penalty.

To view a video about the law, click on the photo or link below the headline.

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  1. 1. Jim Dougherty [ January 11, 2017 @ 03:05PM ]

    Yet another useless California safety law, the sole purpose of which is to give state politicians something to crow about. The fines are too low to motivate drivers to change their behavior, and cities/counties will not encourage enforcement because their processing costs are much higher than the fines. Also, the one swipe or tap allowance will make prosecution very difficult. With distraction causing nearly 1/3 of fatal crashes, this law pays lip service to improving highway safety.


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