Know The Law: Texting While Driving Is Now Illegal In California

By PRESS RELEASE — January 08, 2009

SANTA MONICA, Calif. --(Business Wire)--  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at any given moment more than 1 million U.S. people are talking on mobile phones while driving. NHTSA has also determined that driver inattention is a primary or contributing factor in as many as 25 percent of all police-reported traffic collisions and thousands of collisions that aren't reported to the authorities.

"Everyone knows that it is critical to stay focused when driving, but still many people multi-task behind the wheel, taking for granted the huge risks to the safety of themselves, their loved ones and everyone else on the road," said Joanne Helperin, Senior Features Editor for Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information. "There is a flurry of new legislation and debate about possible future laws, so if the threat of a collision doesn't motivate people to change their behavior, perhaps the threat of a ticket will."

Beginning January 1, 2009, texting while driving became illegal in the state of California, as it already is in six other states and the District of Columbia. In addition, 17 states have laws banning "novice drivers" (usually those under a certain age or with less than a full driver license) from using a phone while behind the wheel.

Edmunds.com has detailed cell phone-related driving laws in its article Cell Phone Laws by City and State. Edmunds.com evaluates hands-free cell phone options and related topics in another article, Driven to Distraction: Cell Phones in the Car.
"We agree that wireless technology is terrific, but just because it seems to be everywhere doesn't mean you have to use it everywhere," stated Helperin. "You never know: the most important call of your life could be the one you never make."
For a comprehensive overview of cell phones in the car, visit:

A comprehensive look at cell phone laws is available at Cell Phone Laws by State.

A more specific examination of hands-free cell phone laws can be found at Look Officer, No Hands:

About Edmunds Inc.
Edmunds Inc. publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value, is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study, was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site and home to the oldest and most established automotive community. AutoObserver.com launched in 2007 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.

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