Cell phone fines for drivers may increase
August 16, 2011
Legislation that would significantly increase fines for drivers who talk on cell phones or text was approved Monday and needs only Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature. [Chronicle]
The bill, SB 28, also prohibits bicyclists from texting or talking on a phone, though the fines are lower for bikers than drivers.
Fines for talking without a hands-free device or texting while driving would increase to $50 for the first offense and $100 for subsequent offenses. Combined with other penalties and assessments, the total penalty would be about $328 for the first offense and $528 for additional violations.
The penalty for bicyclists under the new law would be $20 for first-time offenders and $50 for repeat offenders. There would be no additional costs.
The legislation, which the governor is expected to sign, was authored by state Sen. Joe Simitian, (D-Palo Alto), who argued that cell phone-related accidents in California have decreased dramatically since the initial ban was introduced.