What California law says about using cellphone at a red light?
Since 2009, California has had specific laws involving texting and driving – most are easy to understand but some of them seem to be confusing or complex for some people. A good example would be, texting while driving as being illegal, but what about texting while at a red light – what does the law say about that? Get the answers to these kinds of questions by reading below. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and are in need of legal consultation, reach out for a personal injury lawyer and request a free consultation.
Can you text at a stoplight?
These are the laws pertaining to text messaging while driving: (1) Handheld Wireless Telephone Laws (effective since 2008) – The use of a wireless phone while driving is prohibited under the driver is calling for emergency services. The use of “hands-free devices” is allowed as long as the driver is at least 18 years old. (2) Wireless Communications Device Law (effective since 2009) – Writing, reading and sending text messages are illegal while behind the wheel of a vehicle.
A person caught breaking this law could face a significant fine. It starts at $20 for the first offense and goes up to at least $50 for further offenses. A person can pay 3 times the base amount of the fine, once penalty assessments are added. It is clear that texting while driving does not pay when considering the financial aspects of this law.
Can you use Bluetooth or a similar earpiece?
It is legal to use Bluetooth or similar earpieces in the state of California – however, both ears must not be covered to ensure that it’s still possible for you to hear any type of emergency vehicles around you that might be needing some cooperation from you.
Are these laws necessary?
A lot of people are wondering if this law is even necessary at all. Most of us are so used to having cellphones almost all the time in our hands, some are questioning if it’s really that serious if a person chooses to use a cellphone while driving. Amongst the hundreds of fatal car accidents each year, more than one out of four ( >1 of 4 ) auto accidents include at least 1 person using a cellphone including hands-free devices too. This proves that these laws are of utmost importance and that even hands-free devices can be harmful too.
Are there exceptions for push to talk applications?
There are no exceptions for push to talk applications. While it is true that there’s an initial exception to use two-way, push to talk features for truck tractor drivers or commercial trucks, drivers operating farm vehicles, and people using tow trucks, this exception already expired in the middle of 2011. Currently, the only way you can use a push to talk feature legally in a vehicle is if you’re using a hands-free earpiece or another type of hands-free device.
Arm yourself with knowledge on the laws involving driving and this very common activity as well as the reasoning behind them to fully grasp the importance of having these laws implemented in our society. Having these in place together with safety technologies, accidents still happen. Don’t hesitate to get legal representation if you’ve been injured in a car accident. Contact an attorney for vehicular accidents and request a free consultation.