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Emergency Call Cell Phone Ticket

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 violations.

According to a recent Allstate infographic 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 emergency services.

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 attorney@markbigger.com. You can even contact them now on their Facebook page.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755.