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    California’s tougher talking and texting-while-driving bill heads to Governor’s desk

    Uncategorizedon August 16th, 2011No Comments

    A law that would toughen penalties for drivers caught texting or talking without a hands-free device on their cell phone has landed on the Governor’s desk.

    The measure, SB 28, was authored by State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), and grew out of what he thinks is the success of similar laws he wrote and that have taken effect, according to a statement released Monday.

    “While the numbers show that compliance is good and that California’s hands-free law is working, we can do better and save even more lives,” said Simitian, following the bill’s passage.

    Here’s a breakdown of the proposed new law:

    • Increase the base fines for violation of the hands free cell phone and texting-while-driving laws from $20 to $50 for a first offense, and from $50 to $100 for subsequent offenses;
    • Make a violation of the hands free cell phone law, the texting law, or the teen safety law a driver’s license “point” on a second or subsequent offense;
    • Apply these distracted driving laws to bicyclists at a lower total fine level of $20 for a first offense, and $50 for each subsequent offense;
    • Use a portion of the increased fine revenue to establish and fund a cell phone related distracted driving education program in the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS); and;
    • Allow the state to qualify for anticipated federal funding on cell phone related distracted driving.

    …click here to read more.

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