About Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road, or your hands off the steering wheel – especially cell phone use. While 16-24 year-olds demonstrate a significantly higher rate of manipulating a hand-held device while driving in comparison to other age groups, all drivers run the risk of a ticket or a crash if using a phone while driving. Cell phones and driving just don’t mix, it’s dangerous and illegal.  So the next time you’re behind the wheel, think twice before you pick up your phone to text, email, surf the web, use social media or for any other reason. If you need to use your phone in an emergency, pull over. Put your phone down, just drive.

California cell phone laws prohibit cell phone and electronic wireless device usage among any driver, transit and school bus drivers, except for valid emergency or work-related purposes. Any driver under the age of 18 cannot use a cell phone or any other electronic wireless device at all, not hand-held, hands-free, Bluetooth, speaker phone, or any other means.

So what about other distractions, like eating, grooming, dogs in the lap, etc? Those other actions may not be illegal but if a law enforcement officer sees anything that might be considered distracting enough to be a danger, they may be cited under other vehicle sections, such as VC 22350, the basic speed law which restricts speed for multiple reasons including reckless driving and disregard for the safety of persons or property.