As you no doubt already know, today (July 1st) is the first day of a new law in California: the law banning the use of handheld wireless phones while driving. Drivers caught breaking this new law can be fined $20 for the first offense and $50 for subsequent times.
Note that It is okay to use cell phones with a hands-free device, such as a Blue Tooth, while talking, although both ears cannot be covered at any time. Using a handheld telephone’s speaker function is also allowed, but dialing while driving is not allowed.
And if you are under 18 then you may not use any phone (or any other electronic device, period) while driving. Below, courtesy of California's DMV, are answers to the most commonly asked questions about this new law.
But does this law actually make any sense? I think not, because a phone is a phone, and the danger to driving lies not in the type of communication device (handheld or ear-piece) that you are using but rather in the distraction of having a phone conversation while driving.
Instead of a handheld phone, a driver's hands could as easily be holding a map or an apple or a cup of coffee or adjusting the radio volume etc., rather than holding the steering wheel. The distracting thing about phone use while driving isn't so much about holding the thing in your hand, but rather how being caught up in a deep phone conversation can be so consuming that it momentarily takes your mind elsewhere and away from the road in front of you.
So I say either let everyone talk on the phone (handheld or other) while driving, or else ban car phone use altogether. And don't discriminate against under 18 year olds: treat everyone you allow to drive equally. Do you agree or disagree? Add your opinion in the "comments" box down below the DMV's answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding this new law.