With less than three months to go before the State of California outlaws using a cell phone while driving, nearly half of California drivers are unaware of when the ban kicks in, according to a recent survey. Polling of 400 licensed drivers by Plantronics (a maker of Bluetooth headsets, as it happens) and market research firm TNS found that 44 percent did not know when the legislation comes into effect and that 72 percent did not have "strong familiarity" with what the ban encompasses.
To strengthen your familiarity, here is what to expect:
- As of July 1, 2008, California drivers are prohibited from holding cell phones to their head while on the road.
- Those wanting to make a call while driving must use a hands-free device such as a headset or a speakerphone.
- Drivers under the age of 18 cannot use cell phones while driving at all, even if used in conjunction with a hands-free device.
- Failure to comply with the law is a primary offense, punishable with a $20 fine for a first offense and $50 for subsequent offenses (with amounts rising after penalties are added).
If you're looking for a way to start weaning yourself off your handset by July, check out our round-up of in-car speakerphones, our shortlist of stereos with built-in Bluetooth, and our pages of Bluetooth headset reviews.