Highway Patrol has ‘zero tolerance’ for breaking hands-free law

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The California Highway Patrol is cracking down on drivers using their hands to talk on their cell phones. The Highway Patrol Valley Division is planning to conduct a “zero tolerance” cell phone enforcement day from 6 a.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday. “Far too many motorists are still not dialed-in to the rules and are being cited for violating California’s cell phone laws, or becoming a grim statistic,” said Officer David Martinez, spokesman for the Highway Patrol’s Auburn office. The enforcement is designed to deter people from talking on their cell phones while driving without a hands-free device and texting while driving, Martinez said. The current law prohibits talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device while driving. People under 18 can’t talk on a cell phone at all, and it is against the law for anyone to text message while driving. Cell phone violations carry a minimum fine of $20 for the first offense and $50 for the second. Court costs can bring the amount up to $100 for the first offense, Martinez said. ~Staff report