Governor of California signs law that severely restricts the use of mobile phones by drivers
posted by Alan F. / Sep 27, 2016, 12:57 PM
If you live in California, and you are going to drive your car, you might as well leave your phone home. A new law was signed into power by Linda Ronstadt's ex-boyfriend, Governor Jerry Brown, that seriously restricts how a driver can use a smartphone while behind the wheel. Assembly Bill 1785 prevents drivers from "holding and operating" a mobile device while driving.
However, written into the law is one exception. A driver can use a mobile device if it is mounted on the windshield or the dashboard of the car, and is being used for a function that requires "the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger."
This past summer, California officials said that the number of crashes and injuries related to drivers' phone use is on the rise. This "distracted driving" is the reason why Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) introduced the bill. Even before the new law was signed, drivers were not allowed to call or text without a hands-free device. When that law was passed more than eight years ago, there was nothing written in it about navigation apps, which were not so widely available at the time.
The new law takes effect on January 1st, 2017. The first offense is punishable by a $20 fine, rising to $50 for every infraction afterwards.
source: ASMDC via SacBee, PhoneScoop
Posts: 144; Member since: Feb 12, 2012
For the most part, this is going to affect people with older vehicles. Most modern cars have BT built in, and come with CarPlay or Android auto support. If none apply, you can always by BT device on Amazon.
posted on Sep 27, 2016, 1:03 PM 4
A 20 dollar fine?? Wow... if you get caught using or even holding your smartphone while driving, in my country, you'll be fined 250 dollars.
posted on Sep 27, 2016, 1:10 PM 5
Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016
For real, $20 - $50 fine is a joke. Heck, many people would not bother using their phones while driving, since most Americans can easily afford to pay up $20 if busted.
posted on Sep 27, 2016, 1:27 PM 3
Posts: 535; Member since: Apr 04, 2014
Agreed. $20 isn't worth the prosecution paperwork. That's like a stern word. It isn't a punishment. The biggest problem I see is TV and film where the actors all hold phones while driving, which makes people think it is safe and the right thing to do. I can't believe that in America, the land of the lawyer, the cost of being sued hasn't stopped this practice. Are accidents and cases not reported?
posted on Sep 27, 2016, 6:51 PM 0
Posts: 125; Member since: May 15, 2014
I don't know how this works but currently it is $150 for the first time in California. I am assuming the actual ticket would be $20 plus court cost plus other fees etc. I would never think they would drop the price of a ticket.
posted on Sep 27, 2016, 10:27 PM 0
Posts: 230; Member since: May 24, 2016
I always found it weird that you are allowed to change the radio station, push buttons on the dash, or put in a CD or whatever to change music, but can't use your phone to do the same thing.
posted on Sep 27, 2016, 1:17 PM 5
To be honest, The most distracting of talking on the phone while driving is looking for cops everywhere so you don't get pulled over - talking on the phone is the least distracting thing I can think of when you consider what you're allowed legally to do: work the radio, check navigation, roll or operate windows and climate controls. I believe that talking on the phone should be allowed. But texting, reading, playing games - NO!
posted on Sep 27, 2016, 1:30 PM 5
Handsfree talking is allowed. Just not holding your phone at the same time, which I think is good. You need both hands to operate the car in certain situations (especially in my country where 90% of the cars are stick shift)
posted on Sep 28, 2016, 2:54 AM 0
Posts: 704; Member since: Nov 24, 2013
Linda Ronstadt's ex-boyfriend WOW! I didn't think anyone on a tech blog was as old as I am! That's from back in the 70's ;)
posted on Sep 27, 2016, 1:47 PM 1
Posts: 704; Member since: Nov 24, 2013
Wonder if this applies to law enforcement also? Just because they have a red light & siren, doesn't make them outside the law ;)
posted on Sep 27, 2016, 1:48 PM 0
Posts: 1318; Member since: Aug 31, 2016
It does apply to them. You can go up to them and call them out on it so long as you're not rude or forceful. They are public servants out in public you can freely record them on video as well for evidence.
posted on Sep 27, 2016, 2:55 PM 0
Depends on the state you live in. Several states are moving towards banning you from videotaping police. Because I guess they want it to be as difficult as it is possible for you to ever prove a police officer did something wrong.
posted on Sep 27, 2016, 5:44 PM 0
Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014
Should be a fine of $75-150 that doubles every following offense
posted on Sep 27, 2016, 2:10 PM 0
Posts: 4359; Member since: Sep 01, 2012
As an uber driver here's my two cents: the use of a car cradle is pretty standard, although not enforced by uber. It seems that California might have this as a requirement soon. Having gone from not using a cradle to using one is a massive gain in driver alertness. It's worth it even if you don't uber, get q a cradle.
posted on Sep 27, 2016, 2:28 PM 0
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