California Bans Use Of Cellphone While Driving; To Be Effective From January 2017

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It is a normal sight to see a driver holding the cellphone on one hand and driving the vehicle in traffic, it may not seem like such a dangerous habit but the consequences can be worst.

To put an end to the usage of cellphones while driving, the state of California has banned the usage of cell phone by the person sitting in the driver's seat. The ban states that it is illegal to operate such mobile devices using your hands.

The legislation signed by Governor Jerry Brown makes it illegal to use cellphone while a person is driving a vehicle. The only means to operate a mobile phone is through a Bluetooth headset or via Bluetooth-ready infotainment system on the vehicle.

Apart from receiving and initiating a call, any other usage of mobile phone such as playing music or using GPS navigation is also prohibited and will attract a traffic ticket if caught.

But most of the modern cars are equipped with infotainment system through which you can pair your mobile device and can have the content of the cell phone mirrored on the vehicle's system.

CHP officer Jesus Chavez said, "Sometimes when we're at scenes of accidents, I have people that pass by during, trying to film the incident and that is definitely unsafe to drive like that through an incident."

Although, usage of cell phone holder or any other method to mount the mobile device in a fixed position exempts the driver from this new law. But streaming videos and taking pictures is illegal.

Taking into account that this law is still in its initial phase, there might be some modifications brought into the law in the future. The ban will come into effect from January 1, 2017.

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Story first published: Monday, December 19, 2016, 11:48 [IST]
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