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New Wireless Telephone Laws
Two new laws dealing with the use of wireless telephones while driving go into effect July 1, 2008. SB 1613 prohibits the use of handheld cellular telephones while driving. Starting July 1, 2008, a driver may use a cell phone only if it has a hands-free listening and speaking system. Drivers ticketed for a violation will be subject to a minimum total fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for subsequent offenses. "Push-to-talk" systems (such as Nextel) are exempt from the hands-free requirement for drivers of Commercial Vehicles Only until July 1, 2011. After this date, ALL drivers are required to comply with this law. This is a primary violation. Refer VC §23123.
A secondary violation will also go into effect July 1, 2008, prohibiting the use of a wireless telephone or mobile service device by a minor (under 18 years old) while operating a vehicle. This bill targeted minors due to the high use of these devices for not only phone use, but also texting. Refer VC §23124.