New Traffic Laws Take Effect This Year

Thursday, October 14, 2021

An amendment to the hands-free law takes effect on July 1, 2021. Instead of punishing drivers who use their cellphones while driving with fines, the amended law states drivers will receive a fine and have a point added to their license if the violation occurred within 36 months of a prior offence.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a driver allowing themselves to be distracted by a cellphone, you need the Ventura County car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman to conduct a complete investigation into your case, determining liability and securing full compensation.

Fines and Penalties

Plain and simple, it is unlawful to use a cellphone while driving in California. The first infraction will result in a $20 base fine. The second or subsequent offenses will get you a $50 base fine. But that amount is far from what you will pay. Assessments will be added to the base fine which usually drives the first violation fine to exceed $150. The second or subsequent violations will cost you more than $250.

Under California Vehicle Code Section 12810, if a driver’s license accumulates more than four points in a 12-month period or six points in a 24-month period or eight points in a 36-month period, they will be named a “Negligent Operator.” If a driver receives this nomenclature, their license is likely to be suspended or permanently revoked.

You cannot Distract the Stats

In the latest reporting, about 10% of all traffic deaths in the U.S. resulted because of distracted driver-related crashes. That is more than 3,000 people killed in avoidable accidents.

Distracted driving is defined as anything that takes your attention away from the road, but smartphones are usually the most dangerous culprit. Cellphones are such an easy distraction because of the litany of distracting options, including:

    • Taking a phone call
    • Texting
    • Using social media
    • Emailing
  • Inputting directions
  • Using various apps
  • Conducting Google searches

On average, a text or a quick distraction will take your eyes off the road for five seconds. If you are driving at 55 MPH, that is the equivalent of driving the length of a football while blindfolded. Using your cellphone in any capacity while driving increases the chances you will be involved in an accident by three times.

The safest option is either to pull over and use the phone or ignore the phone and focus on the road.

When should I contact a lawyer?

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, distracted drivers are one of the largest safety concerns on California roads and freeways. Laws have been created and amended to crack down on the problem, but the behavior continues.

If you or a loved one has suffered an accident due to the careless or negligent actions of a distracted driver, the Ventura County distracted driving accident attorneys at The Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman has extensive experience managing complex vehicle accident cases like these.

Contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 805-983-2344.

The Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman has a focus on personal injury cases in other parts of California.

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