Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Remember that familiar rule you were taught in driving school, both hands must remain on the steering wheel when driving? Today, you will once again be able to drive with both hands on the wheel as the new California laws takes effect today that requires you to be “Hands-Free” while talking on a cell phone. The law allows for the use of Bluetooth or speakerphone features, bit is not clear on how texting fits into this law. Drivers under the age of 18 should talk with their friends before getting behind the wheel. They are prohibited from even using a hands-free device while driving.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department this law will be heavily enforced and fines will be expensive. A first offense gets you a fine of $76 and a second offense could cost $190. The Wireless Telephone Laws mean to target those heated conversations that could result in four-lane pile-ups.
The frenzy to buy before the law went into effect was evident in the past few weeks as retail store shelves were bare and had a hard time keeping up with demand. At the Best Buy store in Porter Ranch a sales clerk when asked why the $15 earpiece was fully stocked over other hands-free models stated that this product was the fastest selling item. There is an array of hands-free devices on the market and whether you are looking for sound quality, wearing comfort or that special color you can spend a lot of time deciding what to buy. It would seem that most consumers didn’t spend as much time shopping for the hands-free device as they did for the original cell phone purchase.
So, on my drive to work this morning was every driver using a hands-free device? Of course not, in fact, I had to change lanes because the woman driver in front of me had the phone tucked between her left ear and shoulder and had slowed to a snails pace on the road. Let’s hope on the drive home that more drivers go hands free.