California Drivers Will Be Allowed to Text, With Restrictions

George Severson

Photo: Image by Connaught PLC

California Drivers Will Be Allowed to Text, With Restrictions

CREATED Jul. 15, 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — California drivers will be allowed to text when they're behind the wheel of a car, as long as they're using a hands-free device, and with some restrictions.

Under a bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, beginning Jan. 1, drivers will be able to send, dictate and listen to text messages, but only if they're using a voice-activated device attached to a cell phone.

The new law, sponsored by California Assemblyman Jeff Miller, R-Corona, will allow Californians to text behind the wheel for the first time since texting while driving was outlawed more than three years ago.

But the San Jose Mercury News reports that there's some confusion over the new law, including which devices will be legal.

The California Highway Patrol says simply turning on a cell phone, or selecting a phone's hands-free text app, can result in a ticket.

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