Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Driven to Distraction

Hopefully, not anymore by a cell phone glued to your ear while driving. TODAY is the day. If you live in California or even if you plan on visiting CALI ---You better get familiar with a hands-free phone device. Here is the info below. So, if you decide to hold your phone and talk while driving, you may just end up paying what it would cost to fill up with a 1/2 a tank of gas. That might be worth it just to invest in an ear piece. Gas is golden these days you know!
Oh, but don't worry....you can text message if you like (that is not specifically prohibited in the new law)---weird! (Read the last question). That is just dumb. Why would you not specifically prohibit that as well? That seems to me to be a little bit more dangerous.
I am actually happy with the law. I have an ear-piece for awhile and let me tell you it is much better to drink my lemonade that way! But, honestly, how many of us get annoyed that we are stuck behind a person going 20 miles under the speed limit and think it might be an older granny, but when you pass them, you see it is a young person chit chatting away on their cellphone? I have a lot more sympathy and grace for the poor old people who can't see where they are going than to the cellphone blabber.
So...there you go friends. You can eat, drink, chew gum, sing out loud, dance, all you want while driving --even all of them at the same time if you wish. But, you can't hold your "friend the phone" up to your ear and chat with your mom all day.
Update: My darling husband pointed out that I forgot to site my source. Here it is.

Wireless Telephone Laws FAQs
Two new laws dealing with the use of wireless telephones while driving go into effect July 1, 2008. Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions concerning these new laws.
Q: When do the new wireless telephone laws take effect?
A: The new laws take effect July 1, 2008
Q: What is the difference between the two laws?
A: The first law prohibits all drivers from using a handheld wireless telephone while
operating a motor vehicle. (Vehicle Code (VC) §23123). Motorists 18 and over may use a
hands-free device. The second law prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using a
wireless telephone or a hands-free device while operating a motor vehicle (VC §23124).
Q: What if I need to use my telephone during an emergency, and I do not have a handsfree device?
A: The law allows a driver to use a wireless telephone to make emergency calls to a law
enforcement agency, a medical provider, the fire department, or other emergency services
Q: What are the fines if I’m convicted?
A: The base fine for the FIRST offense is $20 and $50 for subsequent convictions.
However, with the addition of penalty assessments, the total amount will be more than
triple the base fine.
Q: Will I receive a point on my drivers license if I’m convicted for a violation of the wireless telephone law?
A: NO. The violation is a reportable offense: however, DMV will not assign a violation
Q: Will the conviction appear on my driving record?
A: Yes, but the violation point will not be added.
Q: Will there be a grace period when motorists will only get a warning?
A: NO. The law becomes in effect on July 1, 2008. Whether a citation is issued is always at
the discretion of the officer based upon his or her determination of the most appropriate
remedy for the situation.
Q: Are passengers affected by this law?
A: No. This law only applies to the person driving a motor vehicle.
Q: Do these laws apply to out-of-state drivers whose home states do not have such laws?
A: Yes
Q: Can I be pulled over by a law enforcement officer for using my handheld wireless telephone?
A: YES. A law enforcement officer can pull you over just for this infraction.
Q: What if my phone has a push-to-talk feature, can I use that?
A: No. The law does provide an exception for those operating a commercial motor truck or
truck tractor (excluding pickups), implements of husbandry, farm vehicle or tow truck, to use
a two-way radio operated by a “push-to-talk” feature. However, a push-to-talk feature
attached to a hands-free ear piece or other hands-free device is acceptable.
Q: What other exceptions are there?
A: Operators of an authorized emergency vehicle during the course of employment are
exempt as are those motorists operating a vehicle on private property
Q: Does the new “hands-free” law prohibit you from dialing a wireless telephone while driving or just talking on it?
A: The new law does not prohibit dialing, but drivers are strongly urged not to dial while
Q: Will it be legal to use a Blue Tooth or other earpiece?
A: Yes, however you cannot have BOTH ears covered.
Q: Does the new hands-free law allow you to use the speaker phone function of your wireless telephone while driving?
A: Yes.
Q: Does the new “hands-free” law allow drivers 18 and over to text page while driving?
A: The law does not specifically prohibit that, but an officer can pull over and issue a
citation to a driver of any age if, in the officer’s opinion, the driver was distracted and
not operating the vehicle safely. Text paging while driving is unsafe at any speed and is
strongly discouraged.


  1. What happens if I cup my hand by my ear while I drive and just talk to myself? Am I going to get pulled over?

  2. rachael vuu12:14 AM

    actually washington state had the "no texting" law in effect a few months ago, and today also the "no cell phone without the hands free device" law went into effect as well. im actually pretty glad... too many drivers not paying attention to driving out there!


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