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2017 Truly Means Hands Off Your Phone

CALIFORNIA ( If you are amongst the many drivers in CA, who find themselves operating a mobile device to navigate an address or find the next song selection, soon you will be breaking the law.

Starting January 1, 2017, it will be illegal to hold and operate electronic devices while driving.

Use of Wireless Electronic Devices (AB 1785, Quirk) Motorists will no longer be permitted to hold a wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device while driving a motor vehicle.

Rather than holding the device, it must be mounted in the 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver or in a 5-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver.

Another option is to affix the device to the dashboard in a place that does not obstruct the driver’s clear view of the road and does not interfere with the deployment of an airbag.

The law does allow a driver to operate one of these devices with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the finger, but not while holding it.

Only drivers 18+ can use hands-free devices. It’s still illegal for all drivers to send text messages. The base fine for a first violation is $20 and $50 for any subsequent violations.

The law does not apply to systems that are installed by manufacturers and embedded in the vehicle. First responders and law enforcement are exempt from these laws.

[box type=”warning” align=”aligncenter” class=”” width=””]11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving. According to a AAA poll, 94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway. 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.[/box]

Related Article:
DMV Reminds Motorists of New Laws for 2017

For complete information on bills enacted in 2016, please refer to the Legislative Counsel Web site at

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