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