"While there is still more than a month before California's new law banning the use of hand-held cell phones while driving takes effect, those who like to chat and drive will soon be required to hang up or go hands-free.
Starting July 1, all drivers over 18 must use a hands-free device if they want to use their phone. It will be illegal for drivers under 18 to use electronic devices at all while driving.
The law does make an exception for drivers to use their cell phones for emergency calls.
Drivers violating the new law can be pulled over by police solely for that reason, said California Highway Patrol Officer Marvin Williford, assigned to Solano County.
"If people absolutely need to make a phone call while they are driving we are asking them to take an off ramp, find a safe spot not on the off ramp or an over crossing, and make their phone call," Williford said.
Williford said the distraction caused by using electronic devices while driving is extremely dangerous, especially for younger, less experienced drivers.
"Some people may be more capable than others at multi-tasking, but for many, especially young drivers, it is beyond their ability," Williford said. "Hopefully people understand their primary job is to drive the car and drive it safely."
In July, California and Washington State join Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Washington, D.C., as areas banning the use of hand-held phones by drivers." (Continued via Vallejo Times Herald) [Ergonomics Resources]