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New California Law Will Further Restrict Cell Phone Use While Driving

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In California, it’s against the law to talk or text on your cell phone without using it hands-free. But, a new state law will take cell phone use while driving one step further. 

Starting January first, you can no longer hold your cell phone while behind the wheel for any reason. If you’re trying to use your phone’s GPS or music or anything else, the mobile device has to be hands-free.

“It would need to be mounted on the dash or the center console or on the dashboard," Sergeant Sean Britt with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Traffic Division said. "And the only way you can actually access it is with one touch of the screen or one swipe.”

The new law aims to cut down on distracted driving.

“The less distracted you can be, the more time you can spend looking at the traffic on the roadway in front of you,” he said.

According to the California DMV, in 2015, there were 12 deadly crashes and more than 500 injury collisions involving handheld cell phone use.