The law regarding cell phone use while driving in California has changed.
Existing law prohibits a person from using a cell phone to write, send, or read a text-based communication, unless the cell phone is specifically designed, and used, to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation.
The new law prohibits a person from driving a motor vehicle while holding and operating a cell phone unless it is specifically designed, and used, to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation.
A cell phone can be operated while driving only if both of the following are done:
- The phone is mounted on the windshield in a 7 inch square in the lower corner farthest away from the driver or in a 5 inch square in the lower corner closest to the driver. It can also be mounted or affixed onto the dashboard or center console in a manner that does not hinder the driver’s view of the road.
- The driver’s hand is only used to activate or deactivate features or functions of the phone with a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger.
The new law is not limited to cell phones.
The first offense has a base fine of $20, and $50 for each subsequent offense.