Starting in January — No Texting for You!

No more texting while driving starting in January

The CHP sent out a reminder Friday to all the media outlets asking us to inform people that texting while driving will be illegal starting the first of the year.

A new state law will go into effect aimed at preventing accidents and collisions, which have been proven by scientific studies to occur more often as a result.

SB-28 prohibits a person using "an electronic wireless communications device to write, send or read text-based messages while operating a motor vehicle."

For you smart phone users -- that includes e-mail correspondence.
Similar to its no-cell phone counterpart, drivers are subject to $20 fee for the first offense, and $50 for each subsequent offense. 

However, unlike SB-33, which focuses on teens, and SB-1613, which allows cell phone usage accompanied by a headset for adults, SB-28 affects all drivers. 

No points will be shown on DMV records for the violation, but penalty assessments will be added, which could more than triple the base fine amount, said CHP officials. 
This law does not apply to passengers or to emergency services professionals using an electronic wireless communication device while operating an authorized emergency vehicle. 

"Text-messaging can go from being a convenient and useful tool, to a dangerous distraction in seconds once you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle," said the CHP press release. 
According to the Transport Research Laboratory, the reaction time of people driving while text-messaging is 35 percent slower, while reaction times were only 12 percent slower for drunk drivers and 21 percent slower for those who smoke marijuana.

"Looking away for one second is enough time for a cyclist or child to end up in front of a vehicle, or for another driver to quickly veer into your lane," said the release. 
To get all the info on the new cellular phone and text laws, check out the California Department of Motor Vehicles' Web site.

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