New Cell Phone Laws Take Effect

July 1, 2008 6:36:45 PM PDT
Many police officers say drivers appear to be following the new law, but it doesn't address another common distraction: texting. Local officers say they'll crack down on texting as well. Rodger Baker is a Fresno Police Officer. Baker said, "I'm looking for people on their cell phones and any other violations." It takes Baker 25 minutes to find a person breaking the cell phone laws.

Baker stopped Rayma Liles from Fresno. Liles was shocked and surprised because she said she prepared for the new law but forgot the date. Liles said, "I'm not even thinking today is July 1. I even took precautions and bought my little device and it's at the house."

Officer Baker said there's no grace period- no drivers will be given a warning.

The new law allows most drivers to talk on their cell phone if they have a hands free talking device. But only one ear can be covered. Also, texting is legal. But local officers are still calling texting and driving: a distraction.

Officer Baker said, "If I see them with their phone in their hands and pressing buttons and using their cell phones, I am going to pull them over because I don't know whether they're texting or calling somebody."

Fresno police officers will be ticketing for texting even though it's not covered under the law

Diego Ledesma was pulled over but welcomed officer's effort to keep drivers focused on the roads. Ledesma said, "It's right ... It's good, because you can cause an ax and anything like that."

The base fine for the first offense is $20. If you're caught again that fine increases to $50, but you'll end up paying much more once court costs are tacked on.

Drivers under the age of 18 can't use a phone at all.


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