Tuesday, May 20, 2008

California Wireless Telephone Automobile Safety Act To Take Effect July 1st!

Beginning July 1st, two laws restricting the use of mobile phones and other wireless devices while driving will go into effect in California. For drivers 18 years and older, talking on a mobile phone will be prohibited without the use of a hands-free device, such as a Bluetooth (or other) headset or a speaker phone.

Drivers under the age of 18 may not use a mobile phone or other communication device (laptop, pager, etc.), with or without a hands-free device, except in the case of an emergency. Please see the California Highway Patrol’s
Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information regarding fines and any exceptions (of which there are few).

According to the CHP, there will be no grace period once the law takes effect, so take the necessary steps to equip yourself with the right equipment before the July deadline. Information on
hands-free phones and headsets can be found at DrivingLaws.org.

The two vehicle codes (23123 for those 18 and older, 23124 for minors) can be read in their entirety by visiting the
Glendale Public Library's Online Resources page (either in the library or from any computer with Internet access). Select the Business, Statistics & Law tab to search the California Law database, then search the Vehicle Code (be sure to check the Vehicle Code box) using the code numbers above.

The full text of each bill can also be retrieved from the California State Senate's
official website. SB 1613, which applies to adults, was passed during the 2005-06 session, while SB 33, which applies to minors, passed during the 2007-08 (current) session.

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