Monday, 24 June 2024

CHP welcomes signing of bill prohibiting text messaging while driving

California Highway Patrol officials are lauding the governor's signing of a bill banning the use of electronic text messaging devices while driving.


On Thursday Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Sen. Joe Simitian's (D-Palo Alto) bill, SB 28, which specifically bans the use of an electronic wireless communications device to write, send or read a text-based communication while driving a motor vehicle.


The bill would impose a base fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense.


“Building on legislation already helping save lives in California, I am happy to sign this bill because it further encourages safe and responsible driving,” said Schwarzenegger. “Banning electronic text messaging while driving will keep drivers’ hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, making our roadways a safer place for all Californians.”


SB 28 compliments an existing law which Gov. Schwarzenegger signed in 2006. SB 1613, also by Sen. Simitian, requires motorists to use hands-free devices while talking on a mobile phone when driving a motor vehicle.


On Friday, CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow issued a statement in support of the governor's action.


“All of us who are charged with keeping our roadways safe applaud Gov. Schwarzenegger for signing this much needed legislation,” Farrow said. “I think most people understand that text messaging is just not compatible with safe driving. Drivers need to keep 100 percent of their attention on the

road.”


The law takes effect January 1, 2009.


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