New California Law for 2014 Targets Teen Drivers
Monterey Distracted Driving Accident Attorney
As of January 1, 2014, several new traffic laws in California will go into effect. For example, as of this date, motor vehicles will be required to give bicyclists three feet of space between them and their car at all times. In addition to this biking law and several others, one law in particular targets teen drivers.
A Ban on Electronic Devices
According to ABC 23, as of January 1, any driver under the age of 18 is prohibited from using any sort of electronic wireless communication device to read, write or send text messages under SB 194. Even if a teenager has a vehicle equipped with a hands-free device, they are not allowed to use it after this law goes into action.
This law for teenagers varies slightly from current cell phone legislation already put into place. According to distraction.gov:
- Using a handheld device while driving is a primary offense.
- Drivers of all ages are prohibited from texting and driving.
- Bus drivers are not allowed to use hands-free devices to use their cell phone while driving.
Although this law will hopefully prevent teen drivers from using their cell phone altogether while driving, it is only a secondary offense. This means that a law enforcement official must have another reason to pull over a teen driver if they suspect they are using a hands-free device.
Preventing Tragic Accidents
This new law is meant to protect the lives of teenagers and others out on the road, prevent accidents, and continue to reduce the number of teens that choose to use their cell phone and drive simultaneously. For example, earlier this year, a newly licensed teenager caused an accident and injured a cop because they were texting and driving. According to Fox 5, the texting teenager hit another mans vehicle as he was stopping to make a left turn. The impact of the crash caused the mans vehicle to spin out into an intersection that sent an on-duty police officer hurling into the hood of another vehicle.
The teenager and the man that she initially hit were transported to the hospital for moderately serious injuries. However, the police officer that was hit had to be airlifted to the hospital to treat severe trauma.
Why Teens Text and Drive
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. One of the reasons why they are more susceptible to crashes is because they are more likely to underestimate dangerous driving situations, such as the use of a cell phone while driving.
Unfortunately, this new law may not completely stop teens from using their cell phone and driving. If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted teenage driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.