Distracted Driving Initiatives in California

Posted By The McClellan Law Firm || Mar 21, 2013

In our last blog post, we discussed the culture of distracted driving in the U.S. What are we doing to change this culture and make our roads safer for all drivers? Two initiatives to fight distracted driving in California made the news recently.

The first initiative is a bill before the California legislature that would strengthen texting while driving bans for teenagers. The bill, SB 194, would expand the state's prohibition against teenage use of mobile phones to include all electronic wireless communication devices, including Siri voice integration technology and Bluetooth devices.

Meanwhile, the California Highway Patrol, the California Office of Traffic Safety and local police agencies will devote patrols and attention to cell phone use while driving in April, which is Distracted Driver Awareness Month. Expect more patrols on the lookout for drivers texting and talking on handheld cell phones. If caught for a first texting while driving offense, a driver could face a $159 penalty. A subsequent offense will cost $279.

Many argue, of course, that the fines do not go far enough to encourage drivers to put down their cell phones. Across the U.S., distracted driving causes 1.3 million accidents every year and more than 3,000 people are killed.

Unfortunately, no matter what law is in place against distracted driving, it can be difficult to enforce. Highway patrol have difficulty determining whether drivers are texting and must watch for people with their eyes focused on something below the steering column. And then come the excuses. "A lot of people will use the 'prayer while driving' excuse," the spokesman for the California Office of Traffic Safety, Chris Cochran, said. "Others say 'I was checking out my shoelaces.'"

Some people simply don't get it until it is too late. Most people who cause distracted driving accident injuries and deaths feel tremendous guilt for their actions. But their feelings don't compare to those who have lost loved ones or have suffered serious injuries because of a driver's poor choice to use a cell phone while driving.

Blog Home


  • “Your appearance on the nation-wide broadcast of ‘60 Minutes’ was a public service in which all San Diego has reason to take great pride. To integrity—you have added public service and again elevated my opinion of the legal profession.”

    - Juror

  • “It was a real honor to preside over a case with you as counsel. In my mind you represent all that is good in our profession.”

    - Judge J.

  • “Having had the high privilege of presiding over a number of cases involving national counsel, I want you to know you’re one of the very best [...]. You and those with you were outstanding ambassadors for our profession and once again made me most proud to be a part of our legal community.”

  • “We do not quite know how to verbalize or show how grateful we are to have had the distinct honor to have you represent us at truly the most critical time in our lives.”

    - S.C.

  • “I just wanted to thank you for your efforts on [Pam’s] behalf, your skills, and your heart. You are not just a lawyer in what you do, you are a master of your profession. And I hope you are passing your mastery to others who may stand in on behalf of the weak or the helpless. It is an honorable effort and a world of mercy. I saw the extreme and extended dedication you put forth yield the best possible results on [Pam’s] behalf.”

    - Juror

View More

Our Awards & Accolades