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California State Senate Passes Bill to Fine Drivers for Distracted Driving

June 1, 2004

The California State Senate passed a bill that would fine drivers for distracted driving, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee newspaper. The bill, SB1800, introduced by Sen. Kevin Murray, would fine drivers $35 for the first offense, with a far larger $150 fine for the second offense. The bill lists nine examples of distracted driving:

  • Using a wireless phone;
  • Adjusting an electronic device like a handheld computer;
  • Adjusting stereo controls;
  • Adjusting an information system;
  • Smoking;
  • Eating or drinking;
  • Interacting with children, animals or passengers in the vehicle;
  • Grooming or hygiene activities; and
  • Reading or writing.

    The bill says the penalty can even be applied when a cell phone user is operating a hands-free device, if it is distracting the driver, according to the Sacramento Bee.SB1800 passed the Senate by a vote of 22-14. It now heads to the California State Assembly, the Sacramento Bee reported.

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