Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in California | YourMechanic Advice

Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in California

California defines distracted driving as anything that takes your hands off the steering wheel and your mind off the road. This includes using the cell phone and texting, whether it is handheld or hands free.

If you have to talk on the cell phone while you are in California, a hands free device must be used. In addition, it is illegal to write a text, read a text, or send a text message while you are driving. This law applies to all drivers who are over the age of 18.

For drivers who are younger than 18, it is illegal to use a cell phone, either handheld or hands free. This includes text messaging and making phone calls. The only exception to both laws is to make an emergency call to the fire department, a medical provider, law enforcement, or another emergency service agency.

Laws

  • Drivers 18 and over may make hands free calls, but not text message
  • Drivers under the age of 18 may not use a handheld or hands free cell phone to make calls or to text message

Fines

  • The first offense is $20
  • Any offense after the first is $50

It is important to note that different fees and penalty assessments are added onto the fines depending on what local court you are in. The penalty fees and assessments vary from county to county, so the actual fine may be much more than $20 or $50 depending on where you are located when the fine is handed to you.

Exceptions

  • The only time you are allowed to use a cell phone to make a call while you are driving is for an emergency call.

If you must use your cell phone to make an emergency phone call while you are driving down the road, it is suggested that you pull over to the size of the road, don’t call while in hazardous conditions, and pay close attention to the road.

California has strict laws when it comes to cell phone usage and texting while driving. It is important to follow these rules because if you are caught, there will be fines and penalties imposed by the court. The only time it is acceptable to use a cell phone is in an emergency situation. Even then, it is recommended that you pull over to the side of the road.


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Jamie

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Ford Ranger - Oil Change - Charleston, South Carolina
My wife and I broke down on our honeymoon. And thank God, Jamie really came through for us. He did a speedy repair, and did great great work. He made us a priority cause he knew we were on our honeymoon. Being broken down out of town is stressful, and Jamie sorted that out for us no problem. I’d give 100 stars if I could!!!! Super friendly, awesome, people person sort of guy. Don’t hesitate to call Jamie to come to the rescue!! 10/10 recommend!!!
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18 years of experience
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18 years of experience
Ford Explorer - Oil Change - Memphis, Tennessee
John did an exceptional job. He provided great communication about my appointment, he was friendly, and knowledgeable, finished the job in a timely manner, and left the job site clean and neat. Thanks!
Chrysler 300 - Oil Change - Memphis, Tennessee
Mr. Chapman was professional and courteous. He even reset my "Oil gauge", that made me happy too! I will ask for him on my next auto maintenance job.

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5 years of experience
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Toyota RAV4 - Oil Change - Woodhaven, New York
Arrived on time did a great job change spark plugs did oil change valve cover gasket washed the valve cover put everything back together started the car check the brakes check for leaks and checked the complete car would recommend this is best mechanic
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10 years of experience
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Toyota Corolla - Oil Change - Raleigh, North Carolina
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