California Bill Bumps Fines For Drivers’ Cell Phone Use

SACRAMENTO (AP) — The California state Senate has approved a bill that would increase fines for texting or using a handheld cell phone while driving.

The base fine would increase from $20 to $50 per violation. With various fees, a first offense would cost $328, up from the current $208. A repeat offender could be fined $100, or $528 with fees.

A subsequent violation would add one point to the motorist’s driving record.

SB28 by Democratic Sen. Joe Simitian of Palo Alto also would make it illegal to talk on a handheld cell phone while riding a bicycle. It passed Monday on a 24-12 vote and heads to the Assembly.

Republicans objected, saying the bill goes too far and is disliked by drivers. A similar measure died last year in an
Assembly committee.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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