Can You Do It Hands-Free? You'd Better, If You are in California

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CalBRE License #01490977

Cell phonesWe are, of course, speaking about cell phone usage.

But can you do it hands-free? You’d better if you are in California.

It seems as if just about everyone in a car here in California has a cell phone and is on it while driving down the road. You pretty much tell by the driving –

  • they sit at green lights
  • move more slowly down the road than anyone
  • change lanes without signals (lots of other folks do too)
  • meander from lane to lane or make abrupt lane switches
  • and otherwise make it obvious they are paying attention to something more important than their driving.

Beginning JULY 1, 2008, you need to use a hands-free device to chat on your telephone while driving if you are 18 years or older.

If you are under 18, you cannot use a wireless telephone OR hands-free device while driving.

Emergency phone calls (no, not to real estate clients) are permitted to law enforcement agencies, medical providers, fire departments and similar services. And this applies to those of you from other states who are house-hunting here in California. Just because your state does not have such a law don’t think you are safe in California.


First offense is $20, with $50 for subsequent violations of this law. And if you don't pay in a timely manner the penalty assessments get ugly - $79 and $190. Hmm, wonder if these are tax deductible?

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If I can provide more information about this community or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360
or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

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All content copyright © 2007 Jeff Dowler Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits

 

 

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Ambassador
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William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

Hi Jeff,What devise are you using to be in compliance. I am investigating a very neat small device I saw at Costco but looking around at other things. Remember the old car phone? That must have been in the 80's because I had one installed in my Seville. I just can't recall much about dialing it?,lol Come to think of it, I think it was operator assisted?

Apr 17, 2008 05:29 PM #7
Rainmaker
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Neal Bloom
Premier Associates Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Jeff,

I know in NY where I use to live you get a big ticket for not having your bluetooth or speaker working hands free but in FL they haven't come out with that law change that I know of but I do use mine anyway....too many people crashing and driving slow.

Apr 18, 2008 12:28 AM #8
Rainer
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Kelly Sibilsky
Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD. - Lake Zurich, IL

I often wonder...is it the talking on or the holding of? I understand the desire to keep people safe, but often wonder, what's next? Will they tell us we can't eat or drink while driving? Can't talk to the passengers or listen to music? First came seatbelt requirements...other things will surely follow. Sometimes I think it's more about revenue than safety. I'm not against doing things to increase my personal safety or the safety of those around me, but I don't particularly like being told that I must do these things when some of it should be my personal choice. Heck, in Illinois you can still ride a motorcycle without a helmet. How's that for screwy?

Apr 18, 2008 12:52 AM #9
Rainer
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Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate
This law is well overdue!  I wish we had one in the works here in NC.  Yikes, I just realized my daughter who lives in CA will be lost without her ability to talk while driving.  I guess I better get her bluetooth!
Apr 18, 2008 09:15 AM #10
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Baltimore, MD
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Jeff,

Thank goodness for blue tooth technology!

Is it OK to use your tablet while driving? ... just kidding!

Apr 18, 2008 10:07 AM #11
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Jeff Dowler
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

George - I suspect I will have the same issue, as will others. I used to use a blue tooth device but have not for several years since it died. Time to get a new one.

Jeff 

Apr 18, 2008 03:00 PM #12
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Jeff Dowler
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
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William - well I do have a phone I got at the CAR convention last year but am not really happy with it. I need to investigate some things, and soon.

Jeff 

Apr 18, 2008 03:01 PM #13
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Jeff Dowler
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
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Neal -well I think that;s why it is now law here. There are so many cell phone users and many really are pretty bad drivers when they are on the phone. I try not to use my phone in the car and often pull over. BUt I need to get with the program soon.

Jeff 

Apr 18, 2008 03:02 PM #14
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Jeff Dowler
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
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Kelly - well you ask some good questions. There are lots of inconsistencies in the laws. I think some things make sense, but not sure it all does. 

Jeff 

Apr 18, 2008 03:05 PM #15
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Jeff Dowler
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Diane - you know, we ALL survived for years without cell phones. And yes, things have changed and we have all gotten accustomed to having instant communication with folks no matter where we are. But one has to wonder...

Jeff 

Apr 18, 2008 03:07 PM #16
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Jeff Dowler
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
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Margaret - well, there is no law against it. Nor against text messaging. LOL

Jeff 

Apr 18, 2008 03:08 PM #17
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
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Jeff, So how do think I am writing this comment?
Apr 18, 2008 10:22 PM #18
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Brad Andersohn
Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus - Fairfield, CA
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This will be a tough transition for me, but certainly safer for others.  You should see me talk on the phone...better yet, you should see how I drive!!  LOL!~  :-)
Apr 18, 2008 10:59 PM #19
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Jeff Dowler
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
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Oh, Margaret, you are naughty. LOL

Jeff 

Apr 19, 2008 11:08 AM #20
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Jeff Dowler
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

True for many of us, Brad. But then the new law is not likely to change the driving habits. The problem is being on the phone and talking and not paying attention, NOT the fact that it is handheld or not, IMO.

Jeff 

Apr 19, 2008 11:12 AM #21
Rainer
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Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker
I have bluetooth and that's fine. What cracks me up is seeing law enforcement officials chatting on cell phones while driving down the road. 
Apr 19, 2008 11:36 AM #22
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Baltimore, MD
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Jeff, I was just kidding this time but I drive really well with my knee. That way I can be 'hands free'!
Apr 19, 2008 03:21 PM #23
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Rosemary Brooks
BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706 - Stockton, CA
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I agree with Jay - I see more cops using their cells than I think is safe.
Apr 19, 2008 03:53 PM #24
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Jeff Dowler
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Jay - well it will be interesting to see what happen when the law changes. or are they immune?

Rosemary - agreed. And how about not using turn signals, and other naughty things.

LOL, Margaret - I am pretty "handy" with my knee too!

Jeff 

Apr 22, 2008 12:02 PM #25
Rainmaker
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Sarah Nopp
South Sound, WA
The state of Washington has basically the same law coming at the same time. Your point about the fines and the secondary fines reminds me of life growing up in Montana... back when they had Conservation Tickets for speeding on the freeway. If you were going across the state for a concert (not uncommon to drove 2 to 4 hours for a shopping trip in those days) we would figure out how many tickets we could afford with our meager savings LOL
Apr 22, 2008 07:21 PM #26
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