Effective July 1, 2008, minors (i.e., persons under age 18) in California will not be permitted to use any cellular telephone or other “mobile service device” such as a laptop computer, or text messaging device while driving a motor vehicle.
Under the law, a minor may not use a cellular telephone while driving, even if the telephone is equipped with a “hands-free” device. Violation of the law is an infraction punishable by a fine of $20 as a first offense and $50 for subsequent violations. The law provides that an officer may not stop a motor vehicle solely to determine whether the driver is in violation of this law. The law also contains an exception for certain commercial vehicles, and, additionally, a minor may use a cellular telephone in an emergency, such as to contact law enforcement or a health care provider.