California Appeals Court Fights Distracted Driving With Tougher Fines

Our friends over at NOLO.com published an article on tougher distracted driving laws in California that we thought was worth sharing with our readers.

Until now, California drivers could argue that texting or talking on your phone while at a red light was perfectly acceptable because the driver wasn’t technically driving. But after a ruling (People v. Nelson), that’s no longer the case.

Next time you grab your cell phone to make a quick call or send a brief text message while you’re waiting out a red light, you can still get ticketed for a $103 traffic violation, even though your vehicle isn’t moving. The three-judge appellate panel in yesterday’s decision held that a driver who is stopped at a red light is still “driving” under California’s Vehicle Code — specifically, the driver is merely “pausing momentarily” at the light, in compliance with the rules of the road. So, use of a hand-held device while stopped at a red light is still a violation of California’s distracted driving laws. NOLO, 15 Nov 2011.

For more information, click here to read the full article “Hands Off Those Cell Phones At Red Lights In California.”

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