CHP reminds drivers about new cell phone law

June 16, 2008 4:29:39 PM PDT
Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, and the California Highway Patrol are reminding drivers today that they have to switch from hand-held cell phones to hands-free devices by July 1.

The new law, authored by Simitian, prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from using any type of cell phone while driving. Anyone over 18 can drive and talk on the phone while using a hands-free device.

More than 1,000 crashes were blamed on drivers using a hand-held cellular phone in 2007, inuring 447 people, according to the CHP.

Simitian and law enforcement officials are making a final push to get the word out before the deadline.

The first offense is a minimum base of $20 and $50 for subsequent offenses, according to the CHP.