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SB 33: Teen Driver Cell Phone Safety (2007)


SB 33 would prohibit persons under the age of 18 from using a wireless telephone or a mobile service device while driving, including a handset equipped with a hands-free device. This bill would be effective July 1, 2008.

For more information, you can read the SB 33 "Fact Sheet" prepared by a member of Senator Simitian's staff.

Final Status and Text

SB 33 is no longer active. Its final status was:
Signed into Law

You can read its final text on the Legislature's Bill Information site.

Background Information


  • According to the National Safety council, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen fatalities, accounting for 44% of teen deaths in the U.S.
  • The California Highway Patrol has recently collected data that shows that cell phone use is the number one source of distracted-driver related accidents in the state.
  • Teen drivers are far more likely than older drivers to be involved in accidents because they lack driving experience and tend to take greater risks. They are also more easily distracted. According to Ford Motor Company research, teen drivers are four times more distracted than adult drivers by cell phone use.
  • Sixteen-year-olds drivers have a crash rate three times more than 17-year-olds, five times greater than 18-year olds and almost ten times greater than drivers age 30-59 (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2001).
  • A 2007 survey conducted by State Farm found that three of the top four motivators that teens said would keep them from using a cell phone while driving were legal prohibitions.
  • This bill prohibits inexperienced teen drivers from using cell phones and other mobile service devices (i.e. walkie talkies, pagers, two-way messaging devices, laptops, etc.) while driving for any purpose including gaming and text-messaging.

News & Press Releases about SB 33

05/14/2012 - Senate Passes Simitian Bill To Strengthen Hands-Free and No Texting Laws

03/07/2012 - Cell phone law proves effective

03/06/2012 - California drivers finally put down those cellphones and are living to tell the tale

12/15/2011 - U.S. Safety Board Urges Cellphone Ban for Drivers

08/15/2011 - Legislature Passes Simitian Bill To Strengthen Hands-Free And Texting Laws

02/17/2010 - Highway Deaths and Crashes Drop in First Year of Hands-Free Cell Phone Law

09/30/2009 - Palo Alto Online: Simitian attends summit on distracted driving

09/29/2009 - Media Advisory: Simitian to Participate in D.C. Summit on Distracted Driving

07/16/2008 - Capitol Focus: Hands-Free Cellphone Law

06/17/2008 - CA Officials Remind Drivers Of Hands-Free Law

05/13/2008 - PPIC Research Shows Hands-Free Law A Lifesaver

05/13/2008 - Hands-free cell phone law in effect soon

04/08/2008 - Take Two: Cell Phones

09/14/2007 - Guv signs law banning minors from using cell phones while driving

09/13/2007 - Schwarzenegger Signs Teen Driver Cell Phone Ban (with video)

09/13/2007 - MEDIA ADVISORY: Governor to Sign Teen Cell Phone Bill

08/31/2007 - A wise call for road safety

08/30/2007 - Senator Simitian Speaks on SB 33 - Teen Driver Cell Phone Ban

08/28/2007 - Teen drivers face cell phone ban

08/28/2007 - Assembly Approves Fine for Teen Drivers Who Use Cell Phones

08/28/2007 - Bill would ban cellphone use by teen drivers

08/28/2007 - Law to mute teen drivers

08/27/2007 - Teen Cell Phone Ban While Driving Passes State Assembly

08/21/2007 - Banning new drivers' cell phone use while driving could save lives

07/09/2007 - Distracted Drivers Face Penalties for Negligence on the Road

06/29/2007 - Cell-phone law confusion leads to hands-free frenzy

06/25/2007 - Back-Seat Driver: Teen driver safety bills are on a roll

05/30/2007 - Teen driving distractions should be eliminated

04/27/2007 - Calif. Bill Limiting Teen Cell Phone Use Advances

04/26/2007 - State Senate Passes Simitian Bill To Prohibit Teens' Use Of Cell Phones While Driving