SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Driving while texting or holding your cell phone may earn you a point on your driving record.
Right now, those distracted driving violations are exempt from counting as points on your license; however, Assembly Bill 47 would change that.
California law already states drivers can only use a telephone if that phone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking. Drivers who are 18 and younger can’t use a device even if it’s equipped with hands-free technology.
If AB 47 is passed, those caught using their phones after January 1, 2021, would get one point.
A similar bill, SB 1030, didn’t advance last session.
According to AAA, texting while driving increases the odds of a crash by 2 to 8 times; talking on a phone, even if it’s hands-free, increases the odds of a crash by 4 times. Drivers over 18 can use their phone if it’s hands-free, meaning voice-activated and operated.
California’s Wireless Communications Device Law went into effect on January 1, 2009. It bans people from writing, sending or reading text messages while behind the wheel. The handheld wireless telephone law went into effect on July 1, 2008. It prohibits all drivers from using a handheld wireless phone while operating a motor vehicle. In 2017, drivers could no longer hold cell phones for any reason, including to use map apps or music.