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Drivers Distracted Driving Wireless Mobile Phone Law

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In The News

Drivers won't be asking "can you hear me now" from at least 7 U.S. states that ban mobile or handheld cell phone devices while driving.
The rundown of U.S. states that bans or defines specifics pertaining to mobile cell phone use includes California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Utah, and Washington and the District of Columbia.
Different U.S. states may take slightly different approaches with creation of their distracted driving-based laws, but the commonality between all states is that money flowin' in. California's no exception: you'll certainly be asked to "show me the money," and "what else can I tack onto that ticket today?"
Here's the California law, it sounds simple enough, but then read onto learn how wack it is:
California DMV'S Wireless Communications Device Law

"The new Wireless Communications Device Law (effective January 1, 2009) makes it an infraction to write, send, or read text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications device, such as a [mobile] cell phone, while driving a motor vehicle.  
Two additional laws dealing with the use of wireless telephones while driving went into effect July 1, 2008. The first law prohibits all drivers from using a handheld wireless telephone [mobile phone, cell phone] while operating a motor vehicle, (California Vehicle Code [VC] §23123). Motorists 18 and over may use a 'hands-free device' [to operate or use a mobile cell pone while speaking]. The second law effective July 1, 2008, prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using a wireless telephone or 'hands-free' device while operating a motor vehicle (VC §23124)."
Translation: if you're an adult and using a mobile cell phone in California while driving, only use a bluetooth headset and never text or even read texts, unless you want to be pulled over and ticketed. if you're a kid and under eighteen, using a mobile cell phone in California while driving, bypass mobile cell phone use period, to avoid tickets and skyrocketing insurance, and to avoid hell for the next couple months of your life (while you're working to pay those driving ticket fines and concurrently hearing about those fines, and irresponsibility speeches, from our parents).
Here's how wack the mobile cell phone law is in California (and, more wack, there's not a damned thing you can do about it-but to stay far away from that phone): CA Wireless Communications Device Law
For states like California, the fine itself for mobile cell phone use while driving (under the Wireless Communications Device Law) isn't huge and doesn't start out bad (under a hundred bucks), but that's without those police and courts fines tacked on.
Get a mobile cell phone ticket, and you'll find out exactly how those fines add up; it's not quite like they're represented. The base fine (paying inclose attention to the term 'base', marking just, as that terms is your cue that this marks just the beginning of your mire) for the FIRST offense is $20 (sounds innocent, doesn't it?) and $50 for subsequent convictions (still sounds relatively innocent, doesn't it?). With penalty assessments, those fines can more than triple the base fine amount. $50 to $150+ happens fast, doesn't it?
That's right,  those little (non-optional) extras can take your new California fine to under two hundred bucks. But that's the least of it, cuz there's probably a whole lot more in store when dealing with the state's finest: the policeman whom pulls you over.
In California, for instance, police, under the guise of the Wireless Communications Device Law, can use the mobile cell phone law as cause to pull a driver over. Once you're over, it might be over. Violation of the cell phone law can be just the beginning, until the police start looking you and your car over. Using the cell phone law as reason to stop a driver, police can then ticket the driver for whatever else they see (or don't see, depending on how bad your luck is and, unfortunately, how bad the cop is). Yeah, all the stuff that doesn't typically get noticed, like tinted windows, overdue registration, hanging stuff from your rearview mirror, and all that good stuff can get tacked onto your ticket violation.
So throw that ticket and fine for those tinted windows in, on top of that ($50 that turned to) $200 dollar initial fine, and now you're looking at near $500 plus whatever required window tint correction. The scarier part, though, is that cops can also use the seemingly innocent cell phone law that was designed to protect the safety of you and other drivers, against you. That can mean police searches of you and your vehicle, cuz once you're stopped by the police, consider yourself pretty much fair game. Don't believe it?-it's been happending. If you don't want to be drawing attention to yourself while driving, stay off the cell phone.
This California Mobile Cell Phone law (Wireless Communications Device Law) does not prohibit reading, selecting or entering a phone number, or name in an electronic wireless device for the purpose of making or receiving a mobile phone call. There are a couple of conflicts here between these two laws: Drivers are strongly urged not to enter a phone number while driving. But remember, you're not allowed to be texting at all while driving, including reading texts. The law does not prohibit dialing a mobile cell phone, but "drivers are strongly urged not to dial while driving." And one of the best facets: The “hands-free” law allows you to use the speaker phone function of your wireless telephone while driving-but you can't be physically holding the phone.
Utah has named the mobile cell phone offense 'Careless Driving' and, under Utah law, driver offense can only be committed and cited if a driver is talking on a mobile cell phone while also committing some other moving violation. And that moving violation's gotta be a violation other than speeding.
Mobile cell phone usage by drivers is illegal while driving a school bus in 17 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Ironically, while drivers can't make mobile cell phone calls while driving in 17 states and while texting is banned for all drivers in 19 U.S. states, only the state of Texas bans school bus drivers from texting while driving.
Mobile text messaging use, while driving, is banned for all drivers in 19 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Novice drivers are banned from texting in 9 states including Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, and West Virginia.

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