California Allows Limited Use of Hand-Held Phones While Driving

Author: Gloria Ju

Implementation Date: January 1, 2017

California law prohibits a driver from holding and operating a hand-held cell phone or electronic wireless communications device, but permits the use of voice-operated and hands-free operations. However, effective January 1, 2017, a driver may use a hand to operate a hand-held phone or device if both of the following conditions are met:

  1. The phone or device is mounted on a vehicle's windshield in the same manner as a portable Global Positioning System (GPS) or is mounted on or affixed to a vehicle's dashboard or center console in a manner that does not hinder the driver's view of the road; and
  2. The driver activates or deactivates a feature or function of the phone or device with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver's finger.

+2015 Bill Text CA A.B. 1785.