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Hands-Free for CA Drivers:

Two new California laws will go into effect July 1, 2008: SB 33 and SB 1613. Both laws were written to reduce distracted driving collisions and to promote safer driving habits in California.

SB 33:

Prohibits teens from using a wireless device, even with a hands-free add-on, while driving a motor vehicle. A primary violation and one for which a law enforcement officer can specifically pull a motorist over.

SB 1613:

Requires adults to use a hands-free device when using a wireless device in the car. Also a primary offense, if cited by a law enforcement officer for breaking this law, drivers will have to pay a fine.

General FAQs

Q: What is the difference between the two laws?

A: The first prohibits all drivers from using a handheld wireless telephone while operating a motor vehicle. Motorists 18 and over may use a “hands-free device.” Drivers under the age of 18 may NOT use a wireless telephone or hands-free device while operating a motor vehicle.

Q: What if I need to use my telephone during an emergency, and I do not have a hands-free device?

A: The law allows a driver to use a wireless telephone to make emergency calls to a law enforcement agency, a medical provider, the fire department, or another emergency services agency.

Q: Are passengers affected by this law?

A: No. This law only applies to the person driving a motor vehicle.

Q: If I’m under 18 and have a parent or someone 25 or older in the car with me, may I use my wireless telephone while driving?

A: No. You may only use your wireless telephone in an emergency.

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