Hands Free Deadline Approaching

June 29, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
California drivers only have two more days of holding cell phones while they're driving. Driving without a hands-free device becomes illegal Tuesday and it seems people in the valley are taking the threat of a ticket seriously. "We've probably sold about 1,500 Bluetooth's and probably about 500 wired headsets, just in the last week," said Darrell Gorham with "We Got It," a cellular phone accessory store in Northwest Fresno. Gorham said he's planning on staying open late Monday night to accommodate people in "panic mode."

An exclusive Action News poll conducted by Survey U.S.A. showed 61 percent of people surveyed already have cell phones that can be used hands-free. Of those who don't, 24 percent said they'd buy one before the July 1st deadline.

Wired headsets can be bought for as low as $5.00, while Bluetooth headsets start at $20 and go up to $125.

The July 1st deadline is also prompting an increase in business at "Hands Free Advantage" in North Fresno. The retailer sells Bluetooth car kits that range from $100 to $700. Customers can buy anything from a portable unit that fits over a visor to a unit that actually reads text messages to you. The owner says the last month has been busy. "We were doing anywhere from 10 a week? 13 a week, tops, to maybe 20 or 30 a day," said owner Thomas Fillmore.

Despite the added costs right now both retailers say customers seem okay with the new law. They're hopeful the new law will save lives. They're hopeful the new law will save lives. "I don't want to get hurt or hurt anybody because I'm trying to tell my friend what I want at Starbucks or what we're doing tonight," said driver Cyndee Miranda.

If you do get caught using a cell phone after July 1st, the fine for your first offense adds up to about $75 dollars. The second will cost you about $200.


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