California Passes Cell Phone Law - What It Means to You

By: Mark Allen

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation that prohibits the use of handheld mobile phones while driving in the state.

Effective July 1, 2008, the legislation prohibits drivers from using a wireless telephone while operating a motor vehicle unless the driver uses a hands-free device. Drivers who violate the law will face a base fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense.

The law allows drivers to use a wireless telephone for emergency purposes, drivers of commercial vehicles to use push-to-talk phones until July 1, 2011, and allow drivers of emergency response vehicles to use a cell phone without a hands-free device.

A great resource for all headsets including the Bluetooth enhanced is www.simplyusedphones.com.

California joins Connecticut, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, and some local jurisdictions in prohibiting the use of handheld mobile phones while driving.

For employers, there are liability issues. For example, if an employee has an auto accident and harms someone while making a work-related cell phone call, the employer as well as the employee may be found liable. Several lawsuits have been filed against employers as well as the employees themselves who have harmed someone allegedly because of cell phone use while driving and doing business at the same time.

The best advice for employers is to check state and local laws and to instruct employees in writing not to use cell phones while driving. They should also be instructed that if they receive a cell phone call, they should let voice mail answer it and/or call back when they can stop at a safe area.

Think about a headset wired or the new Bluetooth enhanced hands free, a great web store to find these headsets is www.simplyusedphones.com and on the left click BLUETOOTH.

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