Girardi | Keese

California Drivers and the New Hands-Free Device Law: What to Know

Mount your phone and limit yourself to tapping and swiping.

Better yet, get your GPS directions started before you drive off.

It's a new year, and with a new year, comes new laws. "As of Sunday," CBS Sacramento reports, "drivers can no longer hold their cellphone while driving - the phone has to be mounted on their windshield or their center console, and drivers are only allowed to tap or swipe on their phone."

The California Highway Patrol will now be on the lookout for drivers using their mobile phones for any reason, whether talking or writing a text or anything else, and the phone isn't mounted, but rather is in the driver's hand.

How much is the fine?

If it's in the driver's hand - not mounted on the windshield or console - and the driver is doing anything with it other than tapping or swiping, the driver risks a fine for violating the hands-free device law. According to CBS Sacramento, a first violation is at least $162, subsequent violations at least $285.

The new law does seem to be having an impact on driver behavior, to some extent. CBS Sacramento reports that the law has fueled an increase in car-mount purchases. It will remain to be seen, however, whether the new law will actually decrease the accidents that occur from distracted driving.

Read more:

California Cellphone Law Changes Sending Drivers to Accessory Stores

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