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No phone use for teens while driving

June 27, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
On July 1, new cell phone laws go into effect. Anyone 18 years and older must use a hands-free device while driving. But anyone younger than 18 cannot use cell phones at all when behind the wheel. Are teens and parents ready for the new law?A few more days to gab while you're going somewhere behind the wheel. Come Tuesday, July 1, no more holding a cell phone to your ear while you drive. You have to use a hands-free device. But if you're younger than 18, no cell phone use while driving will be allowed.

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"I guess it's good in a way, 'cause it will cause less accidents, but we do need an earpiece. The only thing is we are not allowed to have an earpiece. That sucks," said 17-year-old driver Isabel.

Statistics show teenage drivers are involved in a disproportionate number of accidents. Many are hoping this new law will save lives.

"It is a secondary violation, meaning that we will not pull over just because we see who we think is under 18 [using] a hands-free device," said CHP Officer Heather Hoglund.

Estella Gomez has a 17-year-old son at home who drives. "Well, he knows he's not supposed to be driving while talking on the phone. He's very good about that. But we are going to get him a hands-free [device]," said Gomez.

"Did you know with this law, if he's 17, he can't even use a hands-free device?"

"Oh, I wasn't aware of that," said Gomez. "Well, that's good."

The law also forbids teenagers to text while driving.

Citation costs for the first offense, adding penalty assessments, could reach $76 and $190 for subsequent convictions.

"I'm all for hands-free, I'm just not certain about making that law for the teenagers different," said driver Sherry Klein.

 

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