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SB 1310, by Senator Simitian (D- Palo Alto) passed the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee this past week.
This bill would increase the penalties related to using a wireless communications device while operating a vehicle and prohibit bicyclists from using a handheld communications device while riding a bicycle. In addition, the bill would establish an education program regarding the dangers of talking or texting using a wireless communications device while driving, and adds dangers of talking or texting while driving to the list of items that DMV must include in an examination for a driver's license. Lastly, for drivers under 18 years of age, SB 1310 would provide that a point shall be assigned to a driver's license for a second or subsequent conviction of driving while using a handheld wireless communications device to talk or text.
This bill is the same as SB 28 (Simitian), which Governor Brown ultimately vetoed. However, Simitian said he would amend the bill so that it does not increase the base fine amounts as much, only by the $10 to be directed to fund the new educational program, per the Governor’s suggestion.