Kelly Browning is one of the safe driving activists who pushed for the new law. She heads the Sacramento-based group Impact Teen Drivers.
Browning didn’t like the fact that a 2012 revision to California’s distracted driving laws didn’t specifically prohibit drivers under 18 from using voice-activated technology for texting.
“When the law passed last January it was allowing anybody to use voice-activated text technology. So our purpose here was to make sure that our newest, novice drivers were excluded from that.”
The new law closes a loophole – teens won’t be able to use voice-responsive apps such as “Siri” to get around the ban on texting and driving.
“While there’s all kinds of distractions while driving, simple ones (like) putting on your makeup, eating, having a pet in the car, really the greatest nemesis is the cell phone and it’s the newest nemesis.”
Cynthia Harris is with AAA which also supports the new law.
“We have to realize that even though there is a device that is on our dashboard or that is somehow not in our hands is not going to be a distraction. Anything that takes your eyes off the road is considered a distraction and therefore dangerous.”
Statistics show that car crashes in the U.S. are more common among young drivers than any other age group, according to research by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
More New Laws
(AP) -- California's minimum wage is rising to $9 per hour, providing workers with the first increase since 2008.
California state employees will be getting the first pay raise many of them have had in years starting Tuesday.
A law that extends California’s paid family leave benefit to people caring for grandchildren, grandparents, siblings and in-laws will go into effect July 1. The original law took effect on the same day 10 years ago.
California voters will decide this fall whether some low-level drug and theft offenses should be tried as misdemeanors instead of felonies. Meanwhile, the Legislature and Board of Equalization are pushing policies to help the food industry.
Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking in California no longer have to worry about being fired or discriminated against at their workplace under a new state law now in effect.