If you answered “true”, you’re not the only one who believes so. Unfortunately, for you and for California resident Carl Nelson, the answer is “false”.
In 2009, a police officer issued Nelson a ticket after witnessing him using his cell phone at a red light. Nelson argued that despite being in a car, he was not in transit, therefore he was technically not driving while using his phone. Nelson believed that he was not breaking any laws.
Like Nelson, many other people wonder whether the cell phone ban applies to drivers who are not in motion—that is, drivers who are stopped at a light or are stuck in gridlock freeway traffic. It might seem logical that drivers who are stopped would be able to use their phone, but the California state senate disagrees. Unfortunately, according to a ruling just last Monday, if you are operating a running vehicle, then you are considered to be driving.
The ban on cell phone usage while driving initially took effect in 2008, and three years later the California state senate decided to further the ban by hiking up the ticket charges and fees. However, accidents caused by texting while on the road are still pervasive.
We know that the temptation to use your cellphone is great while you are stuck in gridlock on the 405, but think of the repercussions if you get pulled over! Is a $328 ticket (yes, that’s a cell phone citation after final fees!) worth sending a text or checking your email while on the road?
And not only that, driving and texting can also hurt your insurance record. Repeat offenders will be fined up to $528, and any subsequent violations will count towards one point on the driver’s record, which could consequently increase insurance premium prices.
BMR Insurance promotes safe driving and encourages all of our readers to put their phones down while behind on the wheel, or to safely pull over on the side of the road if they feel they must take the call. Remember, by using your cell phone while driving you are not only putting your life at risk but are also endangering the lives of others.
Need to check your auto insurance coverage? For a free 30-Minute Insurance Makeover, or any other information on coverage for home, auto or business, please call BMR Insurance Agency right away. We’ve got you covered! (714) 838-1911.