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Reading and Writing Text Messages while driving now illegal in California

The Governor just signed Senate Bill 28. Relevant portion:

   23123.5.  (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using
an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read
a text-based communication.
   (b) As used in this section "write, send, or read a text-based
communication" means using an electronic wireless communications
device to manually communicate with any person using a text-based
communication, including, but not limited to, communications referred
to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail.
   (c) For purposes of this section, a person shall not be deemed to
be writing, reading, or sending a text-based communication if the
person reads, selects, or enters a telephone number or name in an
electronic wireless communications device for the purpose of making
or receiving a telephone call.
   (d) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a
base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty
dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.
   (e) This section does not apply to an emergency services
professional using an electronic wireless communications device while
operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section
165, in the course and scope of his or her duties.

According to this Sacramento Bee article, it goes into effect on January 1, and the $20 and $50 will actually be more like $76 and $175 after factoring in court fees. However, as with the hands-free law, it will not result in a "point".

Comments (2)

Not just text messages, but email too, which is very important to the CrackBerryheads out there.

True. The bill is less clear about general websurfing, but it does specifically call out email and IM as well, though websurfing might arguably be covered by the "not limited to".

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LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

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