New Legislation To Increase California Distracted Driving Fines. Will This Prevent Deadly Orange county Car Crashes?
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Throughout the United States, law enforcement agencies are focusing on educating the public on the dangers of distracted driving. In California, legislators are considering a new law that increase fines for distracted drivers.
In 2009, 116 people lost their lives in California distracted driving crashes. More than 17,000 others were injured. Most of these accidents were attributed to cell phone use.
The California state Senate has approved a bill that would raise fees for drivers caught using a hand-held cell phone. The bill must be voted on by the Assembly before it will become law. If passed, drivers who text or talk on hand-held cell phones may face fines of up to $500.
The bill was authored by Senator Joe Simitian, a Democrat from Palo Alto. He believes that higher fines will discourage drivers from illegally using their cell phones while driving.
In California, drivers age 18 and older may not use a cell phone without a hands-free device. Bus drivers and drivers under age 18 may not use a cell phone of any type. Texting is illegal for all drivers. However, in 2010, CHP officers issued 11,367 citations to Orange County drivers who were using hand-held cell phones and to drivers under 18 using any kind of cell phone. They also wrote 397 texting-while-driving citations.
Currently, the base fine for using a hand-held cell phone while driving is $20. With fees, a ticket is about $76. Under the proposed law, the base fine would increase to $50. With penalties and fees, a first offense would cost about $309.
A repeat offense now carries a base fine of $50, or $190 with penalties and fees. If the legislation becomes law, the base fine would increase to $100 or more than $500 with the added fees. In addition, a point would be added to the driver's record.
Every California distracted driving car crash is a preventable accident. If you have lost a loved one to a distracted driver, you understand how devastating these types of crashes can be.
The Orange County car crash attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie help families and victims of distracted driving crashes find accountability for their losses. To learn more, contact Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie at 866-981-5596.
For more information about California accident claims, download our free book: "7 Mistakes That Could Sabotage Your Accident Claim."