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Cell Phone While Driving Law Doesn't Include Texting

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On July 1st, after a two year warning, driving while talking on your cell phone, unless it is with a hands free device, will be illegal. There's some confusion, however, on how it all plays out and it depends on whether you are a teen or adult.

Adults (that's 18 and over) can hold a phone, dial a number or answer a phone, but must converse hands free. Teens cannot do any of that, including texting, unless it is an emergency. But for adults, texting while driving is okay under the law. How does that work?

As Steve Hymon scratches his head at the LA Times, he notes that the whole thing seems "slightly unsettling because holding a phone to the ear requires only one hand, whereas typing 'what are you wearing?' to your sweetie requires pretty good thumb-eye coordination."

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Hymon explains that Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), who wrote the bills, did not include texting because it was hard as it was to get just the bans passed in the state legislature. In fact, it took him five years. He felt that applying a text ban may have been pushing the envelope even further, resulting in the bills not passing. But the CHP notes that if someone is texting and they are displaying behaviors of distracted driving, you can still be cited.

Photo by Simon Davison via Flickr