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California Lawmakers Introduce New Texting and Driving Bill

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

Readers of our Contra Costa personal injury blog may be interested to know that California lawmakers are looking to place additional restrictions on teen drivers' use of mobile devices. In an effort to curtail car accidents, California law currently prohibits texting and driving. It also prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from talking on their cell phones while driving, even if drivers are using a hands free mobile device.

California lawmakers believe additional changes need to be made to the state's texting and driving laws in order to keep up with technology. A new bill was recently introduced by California state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani. The bill clarifies provisions of already existing law to prohibit drivers under 18 from texting and driving with the use of new technology, such as voice-operated devices. It would essentially broaden current laws to prohibit the use of any electronic wireless communications device by young teen drivers.

The California Association of Highway Patrol has pledged its support for the bill. Texting and driving is a serious problem among California teens. The distractions caused by texting and driving pose a danger to both young drivers and innocent bystanders.

Despite the laws already in place, young teens continue to text and drive. Accidents causing injury or even death are an unfortunate consequence of the texting and driving epidemic. For this reason, victims of accidents caused by distracted drivers need to be aware of their legal rights. In many cases, a personal injury claim can be filed against the responsible party. Compensation for items such as pain and suffering and lost wages are possible in many cases.

Source: Los Angeles Times "Lawmakers look to further restrict teen drivers' use of mobile devices," Ronald D. White, Feb. 18, 2013