California Cell Phone and Text Message Usage & Law
I recently had a client who was legally riding her bicycle across the street when she was hit by a vehicle and knocked to the ground. After investigating the incident further, I discovered that the driver who hit my client was talking on her cell phone at the time of the accident. I was able to use this key piece of information to build a case against the at-fault driver and obtain a more favorable settlement for my client.
With the recent explosion of cell phones and personal hand held devices, many states have passed law restricting or outright banning the use of cell phones while driving. Here in California, a law was passed (CVC § 23123) in July 2008 regarding cell phones and driving. Here are some important facts about this new law:
- - A person may NOT use a wireless telephone unless the phone is equipped for hands-free operation by using an earpiece or a Bluetooth device.
- - If under 18, you may NOT use any type of cell phone while driving, regardless of whether or not you are using a hands-free device.
- - The law does NOT apply to a person using a phone for emergency purposes.
- - The law does NOT apply to a person driving on private property.
- - The law prohibits ALL drivers from texting while operating a vehicle.
- - A violation will show up on your driving record but will not count as a point on your California DMV license.
- - The law DOES apply to out-of-state drivers.
- - When using a hands-free device, you must not cover both ears. One ear must remain unblocked.
- - A driver may use the speakerphone on his/her cell phone as long as the phone is NOT being held while driving.
- - Court fees and administrative costs can increase the cost of a ticket by 5-6 times the posted amount meaning a first time offense might cost as much as $150.
For more information, visit the California DMV page http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/olin/07_olin/txt/07olin09.htm.
There is no doubt that talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous. But without eyewitness testimony, it is often difficult to prove another driver was using a cell phone at the time of an accident. However, through the use of subpoenas and other information, my office has the experience and knowledge to uncover every stone as we work to figure out "what really happened."
Contact My L.A. Law Office
I fight aggressively for people injured by negligent drivers using their cell phones. These dangerous drivers need to be held accountable. Contact me today for a free case evaluation at 866-920-8376. Night and weekend appointments are available by request.