Put That Cell Phone Down and Drive

Hands-free phoneWhile not specific to Orange County, I thought it might be prudent to remind everyone that starting tomorrow, it will be against the law to use a hand-held cell phone while driving in California. So if you’re one of those drivers who still enjoy yapping away while driving (which probably accounts for 98% of OC drivers I see), you’ve got until tomorrow to get used to the speakerphone or buy yourself a hands-free device.

What are the consequences if you want to play the rebel? Sadly, the punishment is nothing more than a slap on the wrist. If you get caught, it’s considered an infraction rather than a moving violation, so a conviction will appear on your record, but it won’t add points. Fines start at $20 and go up to $50 for each subsequent offense.

Another law that takes effect tomorrow will ban anyone under the age of 18 from using cell phones while driving, even if they are using a hands-free device. The cops can’t technically pull over drivers to determine if they are under 18, but they certainly can if they see you with a cell phone in your hand.

Emergency calls to 911 are the only exception to both new laws. For more information, visit the DMV’s Wireless Telephone Laws FAQ.

[Photo courtesy of … the Internet.]

2 Comments so far

  1. Jeff Donaldson (fejsez) on June 30th, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

    It’s a start. Now if there would be a law against reading the paper and putting on makeup, then maybe people would focus on the road.

  2. Jon (oc_jon) on June 30th, 2008 @ 9:23 pm

    I’d like a law requiring people to stop picking their nose while in motor vehicle.

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