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SB-194 Vehicles: electronic wireless communications device: prohibitions.(2013-2014)

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SB194:v97#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 194
CHAPTER 754

An act to amend Section 23124 of the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.

[ Approved by Governor  October 11, 2013. Filed with Secretary of State  October 11, 2013. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 194, Galgiani. Vehicles: electronic wireless communications device: prohibitions.
Existing law prohibits a person from using a wireless telephone while driving unless the telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving. Existing law also prohibits a person from driving a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication, unless the electronic wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation, as specified. Under existing law, a person who is under 18 years of age is prohibited from using a wireless telephone, even if equipped with a hands-free device, or using a mobile service device, as defined, while driving. A violation of these provisions is an infraction.
This bill would prohibit a person who is under 18 years of age from using an electronic wireless communications device, as defined, even if it is equipped with a hands-free device. By expanding the scope of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 23124 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

23124.
 (a) This section applies to a person under the age of 18 years.
(b) Notwithstanding Sections 23123 and 23123.5, a person described in subdivision (a) shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone or an electronic wireless communications device, even if equipped with a hands-free device.
(c) 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.
(d) A law enforcement officer shall not stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of determining whether the driver is violating subdivision (b).
(e) Subdivision (d) does not prohibit a law enforcement officer from stopping a vehicle for a violation of Section 23123 or 23123.5.
(f) This section does not apply to a person using a wireless telephone or a mobile service device for emergency purposes, including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services agency or entity.
(g) For the purposes of this section, “electronic wireless communications device” includes, but is not limited to, a broadband personal communication device, specialized mobile radio device, handheld device or laptop computer with mobile data access, pager, and two-way messaging device.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.