Since California passed the law about hands-free cell phone usage, I’ve seen and heard some weird stuff. Just to be clear for those of you still holding out on buying a hands-free headset, it’s not “hands-free” if you hold your phone to your mouth on speakerphone. That pretty much defeats the whole purpose of the law.
However, there are a couple details that you may not have known about.
- You are allowed to use your phone “to make emergency calls to a law enforcement agency, a medical provider, the fire department, or other emergency services agency.”
- “This law does not prohibit reading, selecting or entering a phone number, or name in an electronic wireless device for the purpose of making or receiving a phone call.”
If you do have a hands-free headset that isn’t wireless (AKA, Bluetooth), only use one side of the earbud because both ears covered is against the law. Also, if you’re under 18-years-old, you’re not allowed to use your phone AT ALL.
If you are weighing out the consequences versus your need to make a call illegally, just be aware that you’re fine will only be $20 the first time, and $50 every time after that and doesn’t count as a point against your driving record.