The New California Hands-Free Law
Starting January 1, 2017, California Assembly Bill 1785 makes it illegal to use your phone – or technically, “a handheld wireless telephone or a wireless electronic communication device” – while driving unless you’re using it hands-free and voice-operated.
The new law does not apply to manufacturer-installed systems that are embedded, nor does it apply to drivers of emergency response vehicles. Fines are escalating, with the first offense carrying a $20 penalty and the second offense carrying a $50 penalty.
Here’s the catch: if your phone is mounted legally (keep reading), the new law allows you to touch the phone once to “activate or deactivate a feature or function … with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger.”
So Where Can You Mount Your Phone in Your Car?
According to the new law, a driver can’t obstruct their view of the windshield. For instance, that means you can’t have your phone mounted in the middle of your windshield anymore – a very common location. And the law gets even more specific in regard to where you can mount your phone:
- On the dashboard
- A 5-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield on the driver’s side
- A 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield on the passenger’s side
Recommendations for Mounting Your Phone
With all that said, RAM Mounts is the industry leader in vehicle mounts for everything from phones to tablets, cameras, and GPS devices. Below are recommended windshield mounts and dash mounts to help California drivers become compliant.
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