Signed by the governor in 2019 AB 47 will take effect starting July 1, 2021. It will allow the California Department of Motor Vehicles to add a penalty point to a motorist's driving record if he or she receives two tickets in a 36-month span for talking on, texting, or otherwise handling a mobile phone without a hands-free device.
The current law already prohibits a person from using a mobile phone while driving a motor vehicle unless the phone is designed and configured to allow for hands-free communication and is used in that hands-free manner while driving. Drivers 18 years of age or younger are prohibited from driving while using a mobile phone, regardless of whether the device is designed and configured to allow hands-free use or not.
Points on your driving record can have serious consequences, and they can stay on your record for several years. A violation may penalize you up to 3 points, depending upon the severity of your violation.
If you accrue too many points in a certain period of time, you will be considered a “prima facie” (fancy word for "f'n obvious") negligent operator, and your driver's license will be suspended or revoked. If you are under the provisional driver's license or are a commercial driver, the consequences of acquiring points can be more severe. A person will be considered a negligent operator if they have accumulated:
- 4 or more points within 12 months
- 6 or more points within 24 months
- 8 or more points within 36 months
If a violation occurs while operating a vehicle requiring a Class A or B license, the points given for a violation will be 1½ times its normal value. Even if you do not acquire enough points to have your license suspended or revoked, a single point can negatively impact you by raising your insurance costs. Using a mobile device while driving is dangerous, but under the new law, it will cost you a lot more than before with new penalties ranging from increased insurance premiums to the loss of your driver's license entirely.
If you are having trouble with your driving record and need assistance, do not hesitate to contact a qualified attorney who can help you.