Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation yesterday that prohibits drivers from using text messaging devices while operating a motor vehicle.
"Building on legislation already helping save lives in California, I am happy to sign this bill because it further encourages safe and responsible driving," Schwarzenegger said.
"Banning electronic text messaging while driving will keep drivers' hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, making our roadways a safer place for all Californians," he explained.
Senate Bill 28 by State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) specifically bans the use of an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication while driving a motor vehicle. The law, which will go into effect Jan. 1, imposes a base fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense.
This bill compliments an existing law which Schwarzenegger signed in 2006. SB 1613, also by Simitian, requires motorists to use hands-free devices while talking on a mobile phone when driving a motor vehicle.