Skip to comments.Texting or cellphone talking drivers facing tougher penalties (California raising fines)
Posted on 08/16/2011 7:08:28 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Driving while talking on a cellphone or texting may get costlier if Gov. Jerry Brown signs a bill that passed out of the Legislature yesterday to increase the fines for the offenses.
Senate Bill 28, authored by state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, will also add a point on driving records for second offenses, leading to higher insurance rates for those who do not comply with the states hands-free law, which went into effect in July 2008.
The bill also will now apply to bicyclists, who were unintentionally omitted from Simitians original hands-free law.
Bicyclists also have to abide by the rules of the road, Simitian said.
Currently, the fine for a first offense for violating the hands-free law is $20 and $50 for the second offense. The new fines will be $50 for the first offense and $100 for the second.
The fine is relatively modest compared to other traffic fines, Simitian said yesterday.
With penalties and fees, the total cost for a first offense would go up from about $189 to $309, depending on the county.
Part of the fee increase will go toward a fund for distracted-driver education through the state Office of Traffic Safety. SB 28 also makes it a primary offense for teen drivers who violate the law. Drivers under 18 are prevented from using any devices, hands-free or not, under Senate Bill 33, which Simitian also authored. SB 28 will allow the state to now qualify for federal funding on distracted driving.
Since the hands-free law went into effect three years ago, fatal traffic accidents and collisions have dropped significantly in the state, Simitian said.
Weve seen good results but we need more compliance, Simitian said.
Driver distractions are the leading cause of most vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
(Excerpt) Read more at smdailyjournal.com ...
Texting while driving should be automatic jail time.
I reserve my comments about cell phone talking while driving for people who understand science and don’t think they are immune.
I texting but not the talking.
I GET texting but not talking. (that’s what I get for texting while watching TV)
It's ALL about revenue. They have to find more ways to keep feeding their insatiable appetite for more programs, more freebies, and their ILLEGAL aliens.
“If anybody believes this is about safety they need to have their head examined. “
If they mase it legal to shoot anyone talking or testing on a cell phone I would kill 100+ a day!!!!
They are nothing but hazards to navigation and should be killed!
What about a person talking to a passenger? Or say a mom dealing with a screaming baby trapped in their car seat? Or a person eating a sandwich, drinking a coffee? What is it about cell phones that you don’t like?
There are a lot of ninnys out there who think that unless they can see the driver’s hands at 2 and 10 (or 9 and 3, depending on when they learned to drive) that driver is automatically “unsafe”.
Best solution is when distracted driving is a secondary offense. Those who have proved their multitasking incompetence through another violation are the only ones who need to worry.
This is fine with me.
How strange. 2/3 and 9/10, my hands are not on the wheel quite frequently as I drive a manual, five speed.
I think you are correct.
Mine either—in my part of PA with steep hills and narrow valleys I run my automatic like it was a stick...a lot of downshifting to save the brakes.
Sad they have to make laws, but folks don’t use common sense. I know the corrupt government is looking for more $$ but on the other hand, cell phones have caused countless deaths and injuries. I see people tailgating traveling at 65+mph while talking on and playing with their phones. Moving time bombs.
We already have reckless driving laws.
Rick Perry struck down this texting nonsense.
Just ticket them for reckless driving.
on US interstates, 75% of vehicles ahead of me driving oddly I am able to see a phone on the ear or in a hand. I cannot even imagine how texting fits into this. I was hit by a guy last month who almost HAD to be texting to not have seen me well ahead of time (don’t think he ever braked).
That said, I also don’t see how it gets enforced.
My personal view is that interstates should have jammers (I know they are currently illegal in the US). This would be inconvenient to passengers, and I don’t care.
My general suspicion is that most of the posters who compare texting or cellyakking to talking to a passenger in your car are people who do one or both regularly and don’t appreciate the criticism.
Ya sure ya want that?
In CA, reckless driving violations are nearly as severe and DUI.
Cell phones use and reckless driving are really two different things entirely.
Won't work. People wouldn't be able to call for help, or report crimes or accidents.
true. jammers in urban areas, with phone boxes every 1/2 mile or so?
Cell phone use is not a problem unless it cause reckless driving.
And it is not the same as DUI.
If it is in Ca, then Ca is nuts.
Yeah, people smoking, holding a dog, talking on a phone, yelling at kids, adjusting radio/air conditioning. etc. etc.
It's bad enough to deal with unlicensed drivers, but when they are also texting, there is no escape.
It should also apply to pedestrians, specially in parking lots. There are stupid people all over the place.