A new report brings to light what many see as a dangerous loophole in distracted driving regulations in the state of California. While many citizens may believe that using a cellphone at the wheel is universally banned throughout the state, the report claims that this isn’t the case.
Drivers in California are banned from texting while driving and placing or taking a handheld phone call while at the wheel. These actions are both considered primary offenses, which means an individual could be pulled over without engaging in another dangerous and illegal act.
Recently, a video featuring a Florida school bus driver texting has been making the rounds of various news websites, and that video has prompted a new look at distracted driving law here in California. An attorney interviewed for the story explains that commercial operators (including bus drivers) are indeed banned from using their cellphones but that there’s an exemption in place if they can prove that they had to text as part of their job. This is in addition to an exemption for all drivers if they can demonstrate that the call being made was necessitated because of an emergency situation.
A news agency analyzed two local bus operators’ policies on cellphone usage, and they found that those policies each prohibited the drivers from using their phones. Still, a company policy is not as strong as a law.