California Laws for Cellphone Usage and Distracted Driving

There is no gainsaying that the introduction of mobile devices has had a positive effect on the world economy; however, like with everything, it also has its demerits. Teenage drivers tend to be less responsible than adult drivers. Reports show a significant percentage of road accidents involving teenagers was caused by phone-related distractions. This has resulted in several driving-related legislation, especially in the state of California, to enforce road safety practices and encourage driving etiquette.

The Need for Greater Awareness Towards Distracted Driving

These laws seek to reduce the number of road accidents caused by distracted driving. Studies show that drivers using a mobile phone are four times more likely to be involved in a crash than those that aren’t. Rear-end collisions and run-off-the-road crashes are common in these instances.

Persons aged sixteen to twenty-four make up a higher percentage of victims in accidents caused by distracted driving. All forms of hands-on features on mobile devices can steal your attention away from the road, so the safest thing to do is never to pick up your phone while on the road.

The state has already employed other measures to enlighten the public on the dangers of distracted driving. The California Office of Traffic Safety organized a public awareness and education campaign, “Put Your Phone Down. Just Drive”. Another campaign in 2015 known as “Silence the Distraction” appealed to the younger audiences to be more responsible while driving.

New Law to Be Effective from July 1, 2021

California is introducing new legislation to caution cell phone usage behind the wheels. The new law will be effective from July 1, 2021, and will be binding on every driver up to eighteen years of age and older. This new law isn’t restricted to phones but includes any electronic communication device that requires holding it in your hands.

Using hands-free features like speakerphones, GPS, and voice commands isn’t illegal. Drivers can set up the hands-free feature before getting out on the road if they do not want to be arrested for illegal acts.

Getting arrested and convicted for using your phone may seem extreme to many, but considering the seriousness of the risks, it cannot be overlooked. If you are caught using a cell phone “in a handheld manner,” a point will be added to your record. If you are caught for a second time within 36 months, you may be arrested and convicted for violating the law. 4 points within 12 months, 6 points within 24 months, or 8 points within 36 months may cause you to lose your license temporarily. The only accepted phone usage is one with hands-free features. Contact the experts at ISU Wissink Insurance in Culver City, California, for all your coverage needs. We are willing to assist you with all your auto insurance needs today.