Schwarzenegger signs bill banning texting by motorists
California will ban drivers from sending text messagesn while driving, after the governor signed legislation banning the practice into law. Since July, California drivers have been banned from using their cell phones in their carswithout hands-free devices, but the law did not cover text messaging.
Get ready to remove your fingers from that tiny keyboard while driving.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday signed into law a measure banning motorists from text-messaging and e-mailing while operating a vehicle.
The law, written by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, takes effect Jan. 1.
"Building on legislation already helping save lives in California, I am happy to sign this bill because it further encourages safe and responsible driving," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "Banning electronic text-messaging while driving will keep drivers' hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, making our roadways a safer place for all Californians."
Drivers caught using their phones to write, read or send messages will be hit with a $20 ticket the first time and $50 on each subsequent offense. The penalty is a base fine, which is uniform across the state, but does not include the fees added by local municipalities.