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Saturday, May 20, 2017

California - Don’t touch that phone: State cracks down on wireless use by drivers

SANTA CRUZ - Californians may have seen this one coming down the road, but many are unaware of its arrival, officials said.

Beginning on Sunday, drivers across the state with close relationships to their cell phones will have to curb their habits while operating a vehicle.

Making phone calls and texting without a hands-free device is already outlawed while driving. State Assembly Bill 1785, signed by the governor in September, takes the law a step further — making it illegal for drivers to use their wireless electronic devices, including phones and laptops, for other uses as well.

The ban encompasses everything from reading social media updates at stop lights and typing in driving directions to taking scenic photos and scrolling for the perfect song selection. Permitted phone operation is limited to tasks that require just a single finger tap or swipe, and only while the device is mounted on the car and out of the user’s hands.

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