California hangs up on cell phone restrictions

| 7/10/2003

A bill that would require drivers in California who use cell phones to have a hands-free device is dead.

AB45, which was introduced by California Assemblyman Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, would set the fines for not having one of the devices at $20 for the first offense and $50 for every subsequent offense. Like many other cell phone proposals across the country, it makes an exception for people using the phones to make an emergency call.

The Sacramento Bee reported July 8 that the Senate Transportation Committee first attempted to weaken the bill, then simply defeated it. The newspaper said the committee’s version would have allowed a ticket to be issued only if the driver were cited for unsafely driving the vehicle.