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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Hands Free Law Starts 7/1/08 in CA

Finally! About two years after it became a new law, driving and talking on the cell phone will be illegal in California for teens starting July 1, 2008 - without or without a hands free device. Teens may not talk on a cell phone and drive at the same time!

But parents, beware, the law applies to you, too. People over 18 can talk with a hands free device while driving, although never a good idea. If you are pulled over while driving and holding a cell phone at your ear, you will get a "DWT" or driving while talking citation, which will cost about $20 the first time, plus some fees - which could get you to $100 before you are through clearing it. Repeat offenders will be charged more each time they are cited.

It is hoped that this new legislation will help reduce the number of traffic deaths - which is about 4,000 a year in CA. The grace period ends July 1, 2008 and the CHP has said it will start issuing citations on the first day.

Photo credit: Mike "Dakinewavamon" Kline
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.