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I Got Caught Texting & Driving in LA. What Can I Do

undefinedWhen caught texting and driving in LA after 1 July 2021, it could be far more costly than before that date. 

“…a violation point shall be given only for a conviction of a violation of CVC Section 23123, occurring on or after July 1, 2021, that occurs within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense.CA AB-47.

How AB-47 Affects Your Insurance When Convicted of Texting & Driving in LA

Since safe driving leads to a “good driver’s discount” from your auto insurance provider, most moving violations lead to a loss of that discount and a rise in insurance rates due to the risk. After a second conviction of texting and driving in CA, your insurance could go up as much as 45% (depending on many factors, though for most, it is around 32%) for the three years it will stay on your motor vehicle driving record (MVR).

“Even with a spotless driving record, the average rate in California is $1,708. After earning a texting ticket, average insurance rates surge to $2,484. That $776 increase is 45% higher than what you were paying before!”—getjerry.com.

Those numbers might seem a little high, but it’s difficult to say if they are accurate since it has been less than a year since AB-47. Then, a driver must have a second conviction and wait until renewal to find out the actual increase. However, you can bet the increase is much more than you would pay a traffic attorney to challenge the ticket. 

Likewise, the first illegal cell phone use accusation should not be taken for granted. Paying a first offense fine of at least $162 could box you and your attorney into a corner with a second allegation. If the second texting and driving charge cannot be dismissed or reduced, you could get saddled with the massive increases in auto insurance premiums after losing your “good driver’s discount” and the added risk. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) estimates that texting and driving takes your eyes off the road for a minimum of five seconds, and “At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.” Who in CA drives 55 mph? 

What’s more, 59.6% of California’s polled drivers complained of being hit or being in a near-miss while another driver was on their phone.

The Real Truth About Texting & Driving in CA

Some might think there’s no way I would ever text and drive. It’s too dangerous, and I can wait. Then, you’re sitting at a red light or stuck in traffic, and you hear the ping of your cell phone. Without even thinking, you grab your phone and check the message. You quickly shoot a response, and there’s a knock on the window. 

It’s a CHP officer asking for your license, registration, and proof of insurance. Wow, that was quick—and do you know why? “The driver’s hand is used to activate or deactivate a feature or function of the handheld wireless telephone or wireless communications device with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger.CVC 23123.5

Unless you are off the roadway with your vehicle in park, don’t pick up your cell phone for any reason. Be good to yourself. Mount the cell phone if you don’t have an integrated system. But if you do get ticketed, consult a traffic attorney to dispute it, or you could face a significant increase in your auto insurance. 

Contact the Bakersfield Traffic Ticket Defense Team of Bigger & Harman to Dispute Your Texting & Driving Allegation 

Contact Bigger & Harman (661) 349-9300 to discuss your options with a texting and driving charge. 

We can represent you in an LA County Traffic Court or when you need assistance with a DMV NOTS hearing.  

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com

References:

The 2021 CA Driver Handbook English y Español

AB-47 & CVC Section 23123Driving Offenses.

GetJerry.com articleTexting and Driving in California.