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California bill aims to deter cellphone use while driving

These days the technology we have at our fingertips is truly astounding. A cellphone can do so much more than make a phone call. One can use a cellphone to send a text message, email, as a navigation system, play music and more. However, all these acts can be extremely distracting for drivers and could lead to a serious car crash.

A bill has been introduced in the California State Assembly that would further penalize those who use a cellphone while driving. Under the bill, those who use a cellphone while behind the wheel would incur a point on their driving record. If a person has too many points on their driver's license, their license could be suspended.

According to the lawmaker who introduced the bill, distracted driving should be avoided. He believes the current penalties for using a cellphone while behind the wheel are in disparity with other types of infractions in California. For example, currently a person would be fined $50 for driving while using a cellphone but would be fined $1,000 for littering. According to AAA the use of a cellphone while behind the wheel increases the chance a person could be involved in a motor vehicle accident eight-fold.

If this bill is passed into law, it would become effective beginning on January 1, 2021. Until then, the current laws regarding cellphone use while driving will remain on the books. Despite this, motorists still have a duty of care to drive reasonably under the circumstances. Distracted driving, drunk driving and committing traffic offenses might not only lead to criminal sanctions, but they could also be the basis for a personal injury lawsuit, should a person be injured by the negligent driver. Distracted driving is a major problem on our roads, so any steps taken to try to prevent it deserve careful consideration.

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