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SRT OF OK NW 2 TXT WLE DRVNG N CA

AB 1536, which is effective today, January 1, 2013, changes California law to allow some texting while driving.  Texting is allowed if your phone can be used by voice commands, such as using Apple’s iPhone Siri feature.  She has powerful friends in Sacramento!

It will be interesting to see how this change to the prior law, which made texting while driving illegal, plays out.

Here is the test of the newly revised California vehicular texting law, effective today:

textdriving8gTHE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Section 23123.5 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read: 23123.5.

(a) A person shall not drive 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 to dictate, send, or listen to a text-based communication, and it is used in that manner while driving.

(b) As used in this section “write, send, or read a text-based communication” means using an electronic wireless communications device to manually communicate with any person using a text-based communication, including, but not limited to, communications referred to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail.

(c) For purposes of this section, a person shall not be deemed to be writing, reading, or sending a text-based communication if the person reads, selects, or enters a telephone number or name in an electronic wireless communications device for the purpose of making or receiving a telephone call or if a person otherwise activates or deactivates a feature or function on an electronic wireless communications device.

(d) 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.

(e) This section does not apply to an emergency services professional using an electronic wireless communications device while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties.

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