In this blog post, we will discuss how to prevent a second cell phone conviction or paid fine, which is the same thing.
Staying connected through cell phones can be tempting while driving around the bustling highways and crowded city streets. Unfortunately, the consequences for drivers who succumb to the temptation, especially those facing a second cell phone conviction, are costly when the DMV assesses negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points for the conviction.
An Introduction to Cell Phone & Distracted Driving Laws in CA
The roads of CA, with its diverse vehicles and drivers, operate under various rules and regulations.
CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 12323.5, Driving Offenses, defines how a driver may legally use a cell phone while driving and what is illegal cell phone use. According to this code, it's illegal for drivers to use a hand-held device while behind the wheel. This traffic violation includes actions as seemingly harmless as holding a cell phone or checking messages while halted at a red light or stalled during heavy traffic.
The emphasis on such restrictions is backed by compelling reasons. Studies repeatedly show that distracted driving, particularly due to cell phone use, significantly boosts the likelihood of accidents. As such, the importance of staying distraction-free on the roads cannot be overstated.
Tips to Prevent or Avoid Future Offenses & a Second Cell Phone Conviction
Use the communication system built into newer cars or get your cell phone mounted so that it is easily reached by the driver to operate with a single finger swipe to meet the intent of the distracted driving laws.
Otherwise, don’t use the cell phone until you are able to get off the roadway and put the car in park. Then, you can check messages, reply to messages, and make calls without being distracted while driving.
AB-47, Distracted Driving & Your Auto Insurance Premium
Introduced in the wake of escalating concerns over distracted driving, Assembly Bill 47 (AB-47) has dramatically shifted the penalties for a second cell phone conviction. While the initial conviction typically incurs a fine of approximately $150, the repercussions of subsequent violations can genuinely sting financially.
A second cell phone conviction doesn't just hit drivers with an increased fine, about $250, but since AB-47's enactment, the DMV now will assess a NOTS point, which can strain the driver’s wallet for up to three years. The real kicker is this conviction's impact on your auto insurance premiums.
Typically, at renewal, when your insurance provider learns of your second cell phone conviction, they will take your “good driver’s discount” of 20% and add ten or twelve percent more for the additional risk for habitual cell phone use while driving. That could amount to more than $700 annually for the average driver.
Given these consequences, we always advise drivers to consult a traffic attorney. The first conviction might be simpler to dismiss than the second, and with the stakes this high, having experienced representation to get a possible dismissal is invaluable.
Contact Bigger & Harman for an Accusation of Illegal Cell Phone Use
When you receive a citation for cell phone use in Kern County, contact the Bakersfield Traffic Defense Team of Bigger & Harman, APC. Give us a call at (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The Bankrate.com article, Average cost of car insurance in CA for 2023.
CVC Section 23123.5, Driving Offenses.
AB-47, Distracted Driving