In today’s society, cellphones have become an instrumental part of
our everyday lives. Whether we use it to stay connected with friends and
family at all times or keep up with current events, we are constantly
glued to our cellphones.
Unfortunately, our constant dependency on these devices has resulted in
the distracted driving epidemic. According to the National Safety Council,
cellphone use while driving leads to 1.6 million accidents each year.
In order to prevent these types of crashes from occurring, states throughout
the country have instituted bans on cellphone use while driving.
Cellphones & Driving in California
California has several laws banning the use of cellphones while operating
One of them is a ban on all drivers from using handheld cellphones while
driving. However, cellphones may be used to make an emergency call to
the police, the fire department, an ambulance or any other emergency service
agency. Cellphones can also be used while driving by those operating authorized
emergency vehicles and vehicles on private property.
The first offense is punishable by a $20 base fine, while a second or subsequent
offense results in a $50 base fine. Keep in mind, the actual amount an
offender must pay once assessments are added will be significantly more
than the base fine. So the total for the first violation will typically
exceed $150, and a second or subsequent
Another law addresses the rules for hands-free cellphones, which depends
on the age of the driver. In general, drivers who are at least 18 years
of age or older are allowed to use hands-free phones—such as Bluetooth,
other earpieces, or the speakerphone function—while driving. Fines
for a hands-free cellphone violation are the same as those for a handheld
The last law prohibits texting or any other use of a wireless device while
driving. The law contains exceptions for emergency services professionals,
turning on or off a mounted GPS, and using a manufacturer-installed system
that’s embedded in the vehicle.
For more information,
Bakersfield criminal defense attorney at
Campbell Whitten today.