In 2017 from New Year’s Day, California has prohibited drivers from driving when holding their cell phones. This was signed by Jerry Brown the Governor way back in September, but it only took effect in January. This does not allow the person to hold the phone when driving – regardless of the reason. It is not allowed to text, check maps, talk or use the phone for any purpose.
If the phone is mounted on the dashes and they are voice activated or hands-free, then they may be used. If there are systems which are manufacturer installed and embedded in the vehicle, then that is exempted as well. Those personnel who use their phones when they are driving emergency vehicles are exempted from this law.
The first time a person is caught, he is imposed with a $20 fine. Successive violations find the fine getting steeper.
Laws previously did not allow for texting or talking during driving, but now any distracting activity is not allowed including the playing of videos, taking pictures or even checking of maps. The reason for banning these devices is that this will decrease the number of accidents. It is said that driving while talking on handheld devices is as dangerous as driving under the alcoholic influence.