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Los Angeles: Effective immediately, California State Senate Bill 28 (SB 28) will prohibit persons driving motor vehicles from using an electronic communications device “to write, send or read a text-based communication.” This provision is an amendment to legislation effective July 1, 2008, that required cell phone users to employ hands-free equipment while driving.
Signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sept. 24, 2008, SB 28 imposes identical fines to those associated with failing to use a hands-free device when using a cell phone while driving: $20 for a first offense and $50 for subsequent offenses.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief William Bratton fully supports Governor Schwarzenegger’s signing of the measure. "Nationwide studies have linked cell phone use, including texting, to driver distraction resulting in traffic collisions,” said Bratton. “Drivers can lose substantial cognitive awareness with the situation on the road when they divert their attention away, for any reason, including cell phone texting. In fact, there were two recent fatal traffic collisions which occurred in the City of Los Angeles where it was determined that cell phone texting was a significant causal factor in both collisions."
More information, including access to the state’s press release about implementation of SB 28 and the law’s complete text, is available at: http://gov.ca.gov/press-release/10608.