As of tomorrow, a new law goes into effect that will impact all CA drivers. Starting January 1st 2017 you can no longer use your smartphone in your hand FOR ANY use. Originally there was a law only restricting handheld calling & texting while driving. However, that left opened a loophole for legally enabling other distracting smartphone behaviors such as setting music playlists, taking videos, & any other app usage. As of tomorrow it's all illegal.
How To Legally Use Your Smartphone In Your Ca
All is not lost. You can still use your smartphone in your vehicle but you must do so hands-free. The new law still allows you to use your phone but now there are some new safety limits. According to AB 1785:
- Your phone must be safely mounted on your dash or windshield in a way that doesn't block your view
- You are allowed one swipe [or tap] to activate your phone & one to deactivate it. All other actions must be voice enabled
Why Is California Picking On Smartphone Users
There are certainly other human behaviors done while driving that are just as distracting; we have all seen people do them. It's almost as if the moment you put someone behind the wheel, they become the consummate multi-tasker. I have personally seen people eat, diaper a baby & put on their makeup all while queuing up to get on the Bay Bridge. The new law was created for good reason. A study was done which revealed that 1 out 8 drivers are too focused on the smartphones while driving. It is estimated that at least 80% of all car crashes are precipitated to some degree by distracted driving. Automakers have already enabled their systems to integrate smartphone navigation into the steering wheel; no doubt this new law will trigger more changes. While California is the only state I know of beginning this law, that's not to say other states haven't or won't initiate their own legislation. After all, there is a reason for the saying "as California goes, so does the rest of the country!"