In September of 2016, Governor Brown signed a revised version of CA Vehicle
Code (CVC) 23123, which is CVC
23123.5 and it went into effect on 1 January 2017. Bill Quirk’s revision
of the law focuses on “distracted driving” and the use of
hands-free, voice recognition, or verbal command prompts. Quirk stated,
“…it is time that we update our archaic laws on the issue…
This bill will save lives!” Making an emergency call on your cell
phone is still legal with the revised law and not a cell phone ticket
violation, but let’s go over a few other changes.
The fine for using your cell phone while driving is $20 and $50 for a second
offense has not changed, though many lawmakers and insurance companies
wish that they would increase the fine enough to make the very dangerous
action prohibitive. However, with surcharges, fees, and assessments it
will still cost you $162 for a first offense and $258 for second and consecutive
According to a recent Allstate
Beyond Texting: Avoid All Distractions While Driving, you are 23 times more likely to get in an accident if you text while
driving and 58% of high school seniors and 43% of all juniors have sent
texts or emails while driving. Let's look at a few ways you could
get a ticket for using your cell phone while driving, what is allowed
by law, and who to call when you need an attorney.
CVC 23123 & Assembly Bill (AB) 1785
CVC 23123.5 was enacted to list the offenses for driving a motorized vehicle
while using a cellular device or other “electronic wireless communications
device” and clarify what actions warrant a cell phone ticket. Many
truckers are upset with the language of the law, in that it does not spell
out an exception for using a CB radio, as CVC 12323 did. You are however
able to use a device that allows you to speak handsfree through your stereo,
phone, or your car’s hands-free features.
Another provision of CA law is CVC
23124, only drivers that are over the age of 18 are allowed to use hands-free
devices while driving, though this may be difficult to enforce as law
enforcement (LE) officers are not allowed to stop a driver to find out
if they are under 18 and using a hands-free device.
Exceptions to the Law
With most laws, there are usually some exceptions. When it comes to not
getting a cell phone ticket you would either have to be a school bus driver,
emergency services worker, transit vehicle, or a vehicle driving on its
own personal property.
You should only use your cell phone in your car when there is an absolute
emergency. These can include calling your local LE, a health care provider
when immediate attention is needed, the fire department or to obtain other
Got a Cell Phone Ticket?
If you find yourself in a predicament where you received a cell phone ticket,
even though you had an actual emergency, rest assured there is someone
that can help clear that up for you. Bigger & Harman are the Central
Valley traffic ticket attorneys you can count on in Kern County. They
have represented clients with more than 2000 traffic tickets and are able
to help you with saving your driving record.
Kern County traffic lawyers are trained professionals that can keep your
record clear. Be sure to drive safely, buckle up, and stay off your phone
while you’re behind the wheel.
Bigger & Harman, APC
Bigger & Harman, APC has a reputation for dependability and excellence
with truckers and other Class A drivers in Central Valley CA. Read their
write up on
Nolo.com, a leading internet legal website.
Bigger & Harman offers a free, no obligation phone consultation to
prospective clients, 661-349-9300. Additionally, they represent clients
in traffic court in San Bernardino, Kern, Kings, LA County, and many other
South-Central and SoCal counties. Call the office, set up an appointment, use the
contact form on the website, or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. You can even contact them now on their
En español, llame al 661-349-9755.