Beginning January 1, 2017 California will ban the use of handeld devices by the operator of a motor vehicle. This is another step in the efforts of the state of California to rein in the increasing number of accidents and serious injuries caused by distracted drivers.
What this means to you is: 1. You must have handsfree capability to make or receive a telephone call. It will not be sufficient to use the speakerphone feature on your phone if you are holding the phone. 2. Your phone must be mounted in the car. 3. You may physically touch the phone IF it is mounted in the car AND it can be operated with a single touch or swipe.
These restrictions apply to all uses of handheld devices and go beyond making and receiving calls. They include playing music, listening to recorded books, messaging apps, map and GPS apps and all other uses of cell phones and hand held electronic devices.
I do not want my clients of followers of my practice to be stopped and ticketed for violating the new law. I do not want any of my friends, clients or family members to be injured in a collision due to a driver who is distracted by a cell phone. I do not want anyone to be injured, maimed or killed due to drivers who are distracted due to cell phone use. The number of such incidents has skyrocketed over the last few years. I have handled too many such cases. It is tempting to use a cell phone while driving. Only a quick glance. It will only take a second. Unfortunately, a second can be too long to be looking away from the road. Injuring yourself, a friend or family member riding with you, or living with the regret of having caused a collision that seriously injured someone else will never be worth it. Pull over and then use your phone. Wait until you can use your phone safely. At the very minimum, mount your phone, get a good handsfree device for your car, and think twice before reaching for your phone. Read the law, known as AB 1785 that repeals and restates California Vehicle Code §23123.5. I have provided a link to the new law below. You can also find the new law after January 1, 2017 under California Vehicle Code section 23123.5,
John P. Rosenberg has been representing clients
who have suffered serious personal injuries and
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