This month, Santa Monica Police Department motor officers will target drivers talking or texting on cell phones.
It is part of the SMPD’s Traffic Enforcement Section that will focus on different driving behaviors each month that are primary causation for traffic collisions.
Chief Timothy J. Jackman wants to remind drivers that it’s against the law in California to talk on a hand-held cell phone, and to write, send or read text-based communications on a cell phone or smartphone or other electronic wireless device while driving.
The California law on handheld cell phones, one of the first in the nation, went into effect in 2008. The ban on texting followed in 2009.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A VIOLATION?
* A person (of any age) holding a cell phone in his/her hand and using the speaker phone, or as is most commonly seen, holding the cell phone to the ear (whether on speaker phone or not), would constitute a violation of 23123(a).
* Juveniles are not allowed to use cell phones at all while driving with or without an ear piece, and whether or not on speaker phone.
* “Write, send, or read a text-based communication” means using an electronic wireless communications device to manually communicate with any person using a text-based communication method, including, but not limited to, communications referred to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail. Scrolling for a name or phone number in a cell phone or entering a phone number does not constitute texting.
For more information, please contact Sergeant Phillbo Rubish with the Santa Monica Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Section at 310.458.4847, or Lieutenant Jay Trisler at 310.458.8471.