Wireless Phone Driving Law Takes Effect in California

The California Highway Patrol is ready, and drivers throughout California also should be ready for a new law taking effect July 1 in the state. It bars all drivers from using hand-held wireless phones while operating motor vehicles but lets drivers over 18 use hands-free devices. The law says drivers under 18 may not use hand-held or hands-free phones while operating a vehicle.

The law permits a driver to use a wireless phone to make emergency calls to a law enforcement agency, a medical provider, the fire department, or another emergency services agency, according to CHP's FAQ page about the new law. The law applies to drivers only -- not to motor vehicle passengers. It does apply to out-of-state drivers whose home states do not have such laws. CHP said it will be legal to use a Bluetooth® or other earpiece device as long as both of the driver's ears are not covered.

The base fine for a first offense is $20, with $50 charged for subsequent convictions. A violation is a reportable offense that will appear on the driver's record, but California DMV will not assign a violation point, CHP says.

The FAQ page explains why the law is stricter for drivers under 18: "Statistics show that teen drivers are more likely than older drivers to be involved in crashes because they lack driving experience and tend to take greater risks. Teen drivers are vulnerable to driving distractions such as talking with passengers, eating or drinking, and talking or texting on wireless phones, which increase the chance of getting involved in serious vehicle crashes."

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2022

    June 2022

    Featuring:

    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Corporate Safety Culture Is Workplace Culture
    • HEAT STRESS
      Keeping Workers Safe from Heat-Related Illnesses & Injuries
    • EMPLOYEE HEALTH SCREENING
      Should Employers Consider Oral Fluid Drug Testing?
    • PPE FOR WOMEN
      Addressing Physical Differences
    View This Issue