Don’t Get Caught On Your Cell Phone

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New Law Affecting Drivers and Their Use of Electronic Devices

New cell phone laws have come to California. Governor Brown signed an extension to the current cell phone driving bill and the new rules impact where drivers can put their phones and how they may use them while operating a vehicle.

Assembly Bill 1785, signed at the end of December, 2016, and effective as of January 1, 2017, no longer allows Californians to hold their phone while operating a vehicle. If caught, drivers could be fined $20, with another $50 for each additional offense.

With the exception of making a single tap or swipe on your mobile device (while it is mounted or fixed to the vehicle), cell phone use is now almost entirely banned while operating a vehicle. Some of the simple operations now against the law while operating a vehicle are:

  • Reading, writing or sending a text message.
  • Holding your phone and talking.
  • Checking or posting to social media.
  • Taking a video.

This means drivers will need to set up their GPS, music and other applications prior to getting on the road.

Drivers who plan to continue to use their cell phones while driving should limit their usage to single taps and swipes and should invest in a cell phone mount for hands-free operation and easy access.

For a look at the entire Bill, please visit: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1785

Marijuana & Gun Use

With the passage of Proposition 64 on November 9, 2016, California adults 21 years of age or older may now legally grow, possess, and use marijuana for non-medical purposes with certain restrictions. Federal law [18 U.S.C. ยง 922(d)(3)] makes it unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person is an unlawful user of, or addicted to, a controlled substance.

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