Distracted Driving Laws under California Vehicle Code

Rules and Regulations for Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most severe yet common offences among the rules and regulations guiding public safety on California’s highways. This rule, coming into effect in 2018, prohibits drivers from using their cell phone devices while on the wheel. These rules are set in place to protect both motorists and pedestrians from potentially fatal consequences of operating a moving vehicle with your attention diverted elsewhere from the road.

Under the California Vehicle Code, the rules and regulations touching on distracted driving are contained in Section 23123. Here, distracted driving is recognized to exist in three primary forms, visual, manual and cognitive. Among the most common, however, is the use of cell phones and texting while on the road.

Except for the hands-free mode, using your cell phone by any means while driving in California streets and highways could get you in trouble with the authorities, potentially costing you over $150 and up to $250 on subsequent offences

Luckily, though, driving while using your cell phone is considered as a primary infraction that will not attract negative points on your traffic ratings. The implication, of course, is that it would have no impact on your insurance costs, giving some relief to motorists who find themselves accidentally breaking these rules.

It is worth noting that the laws under Section 2 of the California Vehicle Code apply differently for persons under and over the age of 18 years. Contrary to the latter, violation of the hands-free law by minors under the 18-year limit is treated as being a secondary offence.

This means that while an officer could stop an adult on violation of the distracted driving laws, the same would not be applicable for an underage driver unless when accompanied by some other legitimate reason, speeding for instance.

Different reactions have met the institution of the hands-free laws and other distracted driving laws in California since their institution.

In major cities like Sacramento, incidences of distracted driving have in the recent past been on a downward spiral courtesy to the stringent regulations set about by the state. This is especially a good thing considering that most accidents related to such occurrences have potentially more fatalities due to the high number of traffic in such areas.


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