Return to California Legal News Report Index

Return to New Cell Phone Article 

New Cell Phone Driving Laws in California

Vehicle Code Sections 23123, 23124, 23125

California Vehicle Code Section 23123. 

(a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving. 

(b) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense. 

(c) This section does not apply to a person using a wireless telephone for emergency purposes, including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services agency or entity. 

(d) This section does not apply to an emergency services professional using a wireless telephone while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties. 

(e) This section does not apply to a person when using a digital two-way radio that utilizes a wireless telephone that operates by depressing a push-to-talk feature and does not require immediate proximity to the ear of the user, and the person is driving one of the following vehicles: 

(1) (A) A motor truck, as defined in Section 410, or a truck tractor, as defined in Section 655, that requires either a commercial class A or class B driver's license to operate. (B) The exemption under subparagraph (A) does not apply to a person driving a pickup truck, as defined in Section 471

(2) An implement of husbandry that is listed or described in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 36000) of Division 16. 

(3) A farm vehicle that is exempt from registration and displays an identification plate as specified in Section 5014 and is listed in Section 36101. 

(4) A commercial vehicle, as defined in Section 260, that is registered to a farmer and driven by the farmer or an employee of the farmer, and is used in conducting commercial agricultural operations, including, but not limited to, transporting agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to, or from, a farm. 

(5) A tow truck, as defined in Section 615

(f) This section does not apply to a person driving a schoolbus or transit vehicle that is subject to Section 23125. 

(g) This section does not apply to a person while driving a motor vehicle on private property. 

(h) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2008, and shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2011, and, as of July 1, 2011, is repealed. 

[Note: A slightly modified version of the above statute goes into effect in 2011.  See Below]

          VC §23123 

(a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving. 

(b) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense. 

(c) This section does not apply to a person using a wireless telephone for emergency purposes, including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services agency or entity. 

(d) This section does not apply to an emergency services professional using a wireless telephone while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties. 

(e) This section does not apply to a person driving a schoolbus or transit vehicle that is subject to Section 23125. 

(f) This section does not apply to a person while driving a motor vehicle on private property. 

(g) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2011.

California Vehicle Code Section 23124

(a) This section applies to a person under the age of 18 years. 

(b) Notwithstanding Section 23123, a person described in subdivision (a) shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone, even if equipped with a hands-free device, or while using a mobile service device. 

(c) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense. 

(d) A law enforcement officer shall not stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of determining whether the driver is violating subdivision (b). 

(e) Subdivision (d) does not prohibit a law enforcement officer from stopping a vehicle for a violation of Section 23123. 

(f) This section does not apply to a person using a wireless telephone or a mobile service device for emergency purposes, including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services agency or entity. 

(g) For the purposes of this section, "mobile service device" includes, but is not limited to, a broadband personal communication device, specialized mobile radio device, handheld device or laptop computer with mobile data access, pager, and two-way messaging device. 

(h) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2008. 

California Vehicle Code Section 23125. 

(a) A person may not drive a schoolbus or transit vehicle, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 99247 of the Public Utilities Code, while using a wireless telephone. 

(b) This section does not apply to a driver using a wireless telephone for work-related purposes, or for emergency purposes, including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency service agency or entity. 

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a violation of subdivision (a) does not constitute a serious traffic violation within the meaning of subdivision (i) of Section 15210.

Disclaimer  

Copyright Notice


Return to California Legal News Report Index

Return to New Cell Phone Article