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Traffic Laws

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The Police Department regularly receives inquiries about traffic laws. Clarification on the most-asked-about laws, and resources for information about new traffic laws is provided below:

 Legal Topic

Smoking in Vehicle with Minor

Infraction for a person to smoke a cigarette, pipe, or cigar (containing tobacco or any other plant) in a motor vehicle when a minor is present in the vehicle. The law applies whether the vehicle is in motion or at rest (effective January 1, 2008; H&S 118948).


Text Messaging While Driving Prohibited

All persons are prohibited from writing, sending, or reading text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications device, such as a cell phone, while driving a motor vehicle (effective January 1, 2009; CVC 23123.5).

Minors Use of Wireless Devices While Driving Prohibited

Persons under 18 years of age are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone, including a hands-free device, and/or a mobile service device (pagers, texting devices, laptops, etc) (effective July 1, 2008; CVC 23124).

Adult Use of Wireless Devices While Driving - Hands Free Only

Persons 18 years of age and older are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless a hands-free device is used. The law provides an exemption if the devices are being used for emergency purposes, or by an emergency services professional operating an authorized emergency vehicle (effective July 1, 2008; CVC 23123).

DUI & Murder

Applicants for new driver's license or license renewal must sign a declaration stating that they are advised that if they are driving under the influence and, as a result, a person is killed, they can be charged with murder (effective July 1, 2008; CVC 13385).

*Code Abbreviations:  CVC - California Vehicle Code, H&S - California Health & Safety Code

Additional Resources