Any driver in California under 18 is not allowed to write, send or read text messages using a voice-activated feature on any wireless communication device.
The new law went into effect January first. Governor Jerry Brown approved State Senate Bill 194 last October. It strengthens restrictions already in place for teens like no talking while driving. Until this year, teens were allowed to text through voice command.
Teen driver Rachel Beck of Redding supports this new law. She thinks it’s a bad idea for teens to use their phones while on the road.
“Because you could die, so I guess not,” says Beck.
Public Information Officer Mark Redding with the California Highway Patrol Redding district says that traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for teens. He feels that any restrictions to lower that statistic are welcomed.
“The newer driver is more prone to be involved in traffic accidents if they are distracted,” says Redding.
The law also applies to devices that are built into cars using voice activation for text messaging.
Teen driver Daniel Crepin of Redding says there are pros and cons to this new law.
“Texting and driving are dangerous anything that takes your focus off the road, cons being communication is important,” says Crepin.
But for Officer Redding, getting to ones destination safely is more important than sending a text.
“Get them experience before we add more distractions to their driving,” said Redding.
Violators could get a $20.00 fine for the first offense and $50.00 for each offense after that.
For the full text of the bill visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB194&search_keywords=