There are not a lot of places in the U.S. where you won’t get a ticket for texting or using your hand held phone while driving. Arizona and Montana are the only states where you can talk on your hand held phone while driving. However, what about those people who read their texts or their emails while stopped at a traffic light. Is it legal? You’re technically not driving, right? Wrong! The law says it’s illegal unless it’s completely hands free and voice activated to read and respond. If the keys are in the ignition and the car is running, then you’re technically driving the vehicle and you can be cited.
Based on the California Vehicle Code, if convicted, the offense is reportable and will go on your driving record. However, you will not be assigned a point to your DMV record in the state of California. In other states, the ticket is a moving violation and points added to your driving record range from 1 point in Colorado, Georgia, and Maryland to 5 points in New York. Some states like Florida and Maryland add additional points if texting contributed to an at fault accident. New Jersey, Vermont and West Virginia add big points for a second offense.
Although, California doesn’t add points to your driving record for a cell phone law violation, you still have a ticket on your record. What does that matter since it doesn’t add points? Well, each time you get a ticket, the fine increases and eventually higher penalties could be imposed by the court. How does this affect your car insurance rates? A ticket with no points doesn’t affect your car insurance rates with Allstate. While driving myself, I encounter drivers who are sitting at a green light, driving particularly slow compared to the speed of traffic, oblivious to their indefinite blinking turn signals, or making unsafe lane changes. Most of the time, I find the driver to be talking on their hand held cell phone as I pass. My first reaction is to move away from them! My second reaction is upset because we are sharing the road and they are not paying attention. While your car insurance rates won’t increase for a cell phone law violation, your rates will go up for the accident that it causes. Don’t take that risk. Be safe and be smart.
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