Governor of California signs law that severely restricts the use of mobile phones by drivers

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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

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