Last year, 13 percent of drivers in Kern and Fresno Counties admit that
they use their cellphones while they drive, eclipsing the high of 11 percent
set only two years earlier.
Authorities believe it is no coincidence that the number of serious traffic
wrecks has increased as well; in 2015, there were
11,000 injuries or fatalities on California roadways, and that number has increased
steadily over the past three years. To stem the rising tide, peace officers
wrote over 16,000 cellphone tickets during Distracted Driving Awareness
Month in April 2016.
60 percent of California drivers say they have been involved in a cellphone
As we approach the ten-year anniversary of the cellphone laws, there is
a considerable amount of
confusion as to what is, and what is not, legal. Part of the problem is that California
has three different cellphone laws that prohibit:
- Talking on a hand-held device while driving (VC 23123),
- Sending or viewing text-based messages while driving (VC 23123.5), and
- Drivers under 18 talking or texting while driving, even on hands-free devices
There is another provision (VC 23125) that applies to school bus and transit drivers.
The Legislature passed these laws before the smartphone era really took
off, and at that time, drivers basically couldn’t do anything other
than talk or text on their phones. When law enforcement unilaterally expanded
the cellphone laws to include viewing apps, surfing the web, and so on, a
Fresno appeals court ruled that they only applied to talking and texting, and everything else
was legal. The state chose not to appeal that decision, so it still stands.
Under current law, unless the prosecutor can prove that you were either
talking or texting at the exact time listed on the citation, you have
a valid defense. An attorney can use this defense to either get the citation
thrown out or get the penalties substantially reduced.
Getting Legal Help
The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to
giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets.
Call today at 661-349-9300 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español,
llame al 661-349-9755.