There have been a lot of new local and state laws passed lately that restrict a driver’s use of a cell phone. Starting tomorrow, 16 and 17 year-old drivers cannot text or talk on a cell phone in California. A similar law restricts adults to using only hands-free devices while motoring about. Texting isn’t covered in the law for those 18 and older, but other statutes that are aimed at distracted driving can restrict driving and texting.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states have introduced 127 bills that restrict a driver’s use of a cell phone or similar device. Generally, these statutes don’t apply in emergency situations.
California’s Public Policy Institute believes 300 fewer traffic deaths will take place each year, once the hands-free laws take effect. Anyone caught using a cell phone illegally will be fined $20 for the first ticket and $50 for subsequent tickets. Additional fees may be added to the price, more than tripling the cost.
California drivers busted under the new statutes will catch a small break. The California Department of Motor Vehicles will not assign a violation point to their driving records.