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Starting January 1, 2009, California will join nine other states which ban receiving, writing or sending text messages while operating a motor vehicle. This closes a loophole observed in the recently enacted cell-phone ban which took effect in July. See our prior post.

Though it seems obvious that texting would be a major distractant during driving, it is surprising the number of major vehicular crashes that have occurred in Northern California for this very reason.

Under the new laws, juvenile drivers (under 18) are not allowed to have any mobile service device in use while they are operating a motor vehicle.

We have previously posted on the numerous studies which reveal that driving while using a cell phone, hands-free or not, or texting, is tantamount to driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

The message is still not getting out, however, since we continue to witness many young people using hand held phones and holding their electronic devices at wheel level to text. The consequences can be deadly, so compliance must be uniform.

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