No talking for teens

Teen drivers under 18 can no longer talk on the phone while driving.

The new wireless law that will go in effect July 1 forbids teens under 18 from talking on the phone regardless if they have a wireless device.

Initial fines are $20 and $50 thereafter. 

Here is a press release from the State Superintendent on the new law:


SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O”Connell and California Highway Patrol Valley Division Chief Stan Perez held a joint news conference today at McClatchy High School to remind teenagers about the new wireless device laws that go into effect next month.

“Technology rules kids’ lives, but it should never take their lives,” said O”Connell. “I want to remind young drivers under 18 years old that starting on July 1 they are forbidden from using their cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. This is not a frivolous law. It is a law that will save limbs and lives because cell phone use is the number one cause of distracted driving accidents in California.”

“New drivers especially need to concentrate solely on driving the vehicle. It is not the time to be dividing your attention with a phone call,” said CHP Chief Stan Perez.

l Senate Bill 33 (Simitian) was signed into law last year banning the use of wireless telephones, pagers, laptops, or any other electronic communication, or mobile service devices to speak or text while driving in any manner by drivers under the age of 18 in California. This ban includes even the use of hands-free devices. A companion measure, Senate Bill 1613 (Simitian), was signed into law in 2006, making it illegal for adult drivers to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving a car in California unless they use a hands-free device. There are exceptions to these laws in emergency situations. Initial fines are $20 and $50 thereafter. New legislation is being proposed to ban adult drivers from text messaging while driving.

“All it takes is one mistake to change a young life forever,” added O”Connell. “I cannot stress enough how important this new law is, to help students stay safe and healthy, so they will be ready to learn when they go back to school.”