As many of you know, or should know, on July 1, 2008, a California law took effect which bans the use of cell phones without a hands free device while driving. I wrote an article about it which you can read by clicking here.
Many people think that the law allows you to hold your phone and use the speaker phone function of the cell phone while driving, so long as you do not hold it to your head. Well guess what, you cannot.
Technically under the hands free law, you cannot hold your phone to even dial it while driving.
Now here is the kicker, the fine for the first offense is only around $25.00. However, by the time all of the extra add-on assessments and costs are added onto the ticket, you will be looking at a $160.00 ticket for the first offense.
A second offense will kick it up to over $300.00, and so forth.
I have been informed that the CHP alone is writing almost 10,000 cell phone tickets a month right now, this does not include all of the other law enforcement agencies.
Obviously cell phone violations have become a big cash cow for our broke State, but I think that it is ridicules to be assessing such major fines simply for holding a cell phone and talking on the speaker.
Now as a motorcycle rider, nothing pisses me off more than seeing a cager with a cell phone to his ear, which in my opinion is blatantly illegal. I will usually blare my horn to get their attention.
Bottom line, in California, you cannot hold your cell phone while driving or you will get dinged. You must only use hands free.
Most cell phones these days allow you to voice dial through a Bluetooth device. That is probably the way to go.
By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © April 5, 2011