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Cell Phone Laws

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As of July 1, 2008, the California Vehicle Code is changing to make it unlawful to talk on a cellular telephone while driving. The following is an overview of the section regarding telephone usage.

There are two laws that pertain to this topic:

  • California Vehicle Code Section 23123: Prohibits all drivers from using a handheld wireless telephone while operating a motor vehicle. Allows motorists 18 and over to use a hands-free device.
  • California Vehicle Code Section 23124: Prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from operating a motor vehicle using a handheld wireless telephone or a hands-free device.

These laws also apply to out-of-state drivers but passengers are not affected. You can be pulled over just for this infraction and issued a citation.

The reason for the stricter law for the provisional (under 18) drivers is because statistics show that teen drivers are more likely than older drivers to be involved in crashes because they lack driving experience and tend to take greater risks.

The Palm Desert Police Department is committed to keeping motorists safe in our city. Please keep in mind that any distractions such as eating, reading or using the cellular phone while driving will increase your chances of being involved in a traffic collision.