BELLEVUE, WA – On July 1, enforcement begins for new laws banning the use of handheld communication devices while driving in California and Washington. Drivers can no longer legally drive and hold a phone to their ear.

Under both laws (SB 5037 in WA and SB 1613 in CA), it is illegal to hold a cell phone to the head while driving, making it mandatory to use a hands-free device when talking on the phone. Drivers violating the laws will receive a ticket and fine between $20 to $175 in California and a flat $124 fee in Washington.

California and Washington join Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C., and dozens of municipalities that have enacted hands-free laws. The July 1 hands-free laws will impact 23 million licensed drivers in California and 4.6 million drivers in Washington. In addition, visitors driving in the areas with hands-free laws will also be required to comply with handheld bans.

As hands-free legislation spreads across the nation, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is working to educate the public on how Bluetooth technology can be used in the car for hands-free compliance.

To learn more about hands-free legislation and options for using Bluetooth technology to obey the laws, the Bluetooth SIG is providing educational resources at 

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet