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06/30/08 08-051

06/30/08 08-051


June 30, 2008


Laws Regulating Cell Phone Use While Operating a Motor Vehicle in Effect July 1, 2008

Effective Tuesday, July 1, 2008, it will be against the law for motorists to use a hand-held cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. There are two California Vehicle Code laws regulating cell phone usage while driving:

  • New Vehicle Code Section 23123 prohibits all drivers from using a handheld telephone device while operating a motor vehicle. Motorists 18 and over, however, may use a hands-free device.
  • New Vehicle Code Section 23124 prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using either a wireless phone device or a hands-free device while operating a motor vehicle.

The base fine for a first offense conviction is $20 and $50 for subsequent violations. If a motorist is convicted of a violation of either of the new laws, the violation will appear on the driver's DMV record; however, DMV will not assign a violation point.

There is no grace period for the new laws. The laws apply to out-of-California drivers, even though such laws may not have been enacted in the driver's home state. The laws do not apply to passengers.

These laws will be enforced within the City and county of San Francisco to ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians who use our streets on a daily basis.

For more information, please contact:

Public Affairs Office


850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103
Tel (415) 553-1651 / Fax (415) 553-9229

Last updated: 9/14/2009 11:34:02 AM