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Skip Navigation LinksHome > Practice Areas > Car Accidents > Speeding And Reckless Driving > California Legislature Contemplates Raising Penalties for Driving While Using Handheld Cellphones


California Legislature Contemplates Raising Penalties for Driving While Using Handheld Cellphones

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According to The New York Times, a new bill is being considered in Sacramento, which would raise penalties substantially for using a handheld cellphone while driving. The current fines - $20 for a first offense and $50 for the second - could be raised to $50 and $100, respectively. According to Senator Joe Simitian, (Dem. -Palo Alto) as a result of the ban on using cellphones while driving, California auto accidents have significantly declined.

In 2003, a Harvard study estimated that distracted driving caused 2,600 traffic deaths and 330,000 accidents nationwide. Since then, cellphone use has significantly increased. Further, a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) shows that texting while driving increases your chances of getting in a car crash by 20 times.

The current bill is not without controversy though. Some bicyclists are opposed to the bill because bike riders are subject to the same penalties as car and truck drivers. Further, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) even using your phone in a hands-free mode is dangerous since it's a "cognitive distraction" which may decrease driving performance.

As a California personal injury attorney concerned about minimizing car and bike accidents, I will be following the bills closely and providing information on how these bills may affect you.


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This website is for general information only about personal injury attorneys and does not constitute a client/lawyer relationship. If you believe that you are entitled to personal injury compensation contact Frederick Sette. He is an experienced Sacramento personal injury and car accident attorney who is devoted to protecting victims of personal injury in Fairfield, Modesto, Sacramento, Stockton, Napa and surrounding California cities.

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