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SB 1613: Hands-free Cellphones (2006)


As of July 1, 2008, SB 1613 (2006) requires California drivers who choose to use their cell phone to do so using any of the readily available technology which allows them to drive with both hands on the wheel.

Final Status and Text

SB 1613 is no longer active.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

Need for the Bill:

  • Cell phones are the #1 cause identified in distracted driving accidents for all five years that the CHP has collected data.
  • In 2004, data collected by the CHP showed “hand-held” drivers were associated with 25 times more accidents than “hands-free” drivers.
  • The public supports hands free cell phone requirements by huge margins.  All polls show that 70-75% of the public supports a hands free law. 
  • AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Cingular all urge their customers to use hands-free devices while driving.
  • Sprint-Nextel is the only opposition to SB 1613, yet they tell their own customers in driving safety pamphlets to “Use a hands-free device such as an ear bud or headset while driving so you can focus your attention on safety.”
  • The bill is supported by a diverse group, including both state firefighter organizations, Verizon Wireless, Driving Schools Association of California, Kaiser, Health Net, 21st Century Insurance and the California Bicycle Coalition. 

News & Press Releases about SB 1613

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

03/05/2012 - Research Confirms Effectiveness of California's Distracted Driving Laws

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

04/01/2010 - A Cellphone Fine, Billed as Small, Is No Longer That

02/22/2010 - Simitian Legislation To Strengthen Hands-Free/Texting Laws

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

10/21/2009 - Hang up and drive: State, city work to corral distractions while driving

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

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

05/13/2008 - Hands-free phones are lifesavers, study says

05/13/2008 - ABC 7 Report on the 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

03/24/2008 - Keep your hands off the cell phone come July

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

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

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

09/14/2006 - MEDIA ADVISORY: Governor to Sign Hands-Free Cell Phone Bill

05/26/2006 - Hands-Free Cell Phone Bill Passes State Senate