Archive | January, 2009


TEXTING While Driving Is Dangerous & Illegal

Posted on 02 January 2009 by Monica Zech

Texting is now illegal while driving

Text messaging is now illegal in the state of California. Texting is now a violation of the state vehicle code, subjecting drivers caught writing them or reading them to a $20 fine for the first offense and $50 for repeat offenses.

The new law is the handiwork of state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, who also wrote the hands-free cell phone legislation that went into effect July 1, 2008. In just under six months, the California Highway Patrol has handed out 45,000 citations to violators of that law, and the CHP is expected to have its hands full trying to keep up with motorists who have their hands full of tiny QWERTY keyboards, thumbing their way down the open road.

It took Simitian six years to get hands-free calling through the Legislature and onto California’s roadways, but he says he encountered almost no resistance to the no-texting law. “It’s really the worst of all possible worlds,” Simitian said of texting, which has grown increasingly popular with supposedly grown-up drivers. “Eyes off the road, and hands off the wheel. That’s a dangerous combination for all of us, not just the people who are texting.”

Strictly speaking, it’s still not illegal to drive a vehicle in California while you are, say, applying mascara, or shaving your legs, or even worshipping that pine-scented air freshener on the dashboard.

 “Nowhere in the vehicle code does it say you cannot put your makeup on, or read the newspaper, or do a thousand other things,” said Sgt. Paul Woo of the San Jose Police Department’s traffic enforcement unit. “But if that causes you to drive unsafely, then yes, you could be cited.”

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