Moot Court question of the month - texting while driving in CA - Page 4

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    South Bay Los Angeles
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    Default Moot Court question of the month - texting while driving in CA

    The California legislature passed a law prohibiting using a cell phone while driving.

    "CA Senate Bill -- Under the bill, motorists could only use their cellphones, or other electronic devices such as GPSs, with hands-free technology. It also would be illegal to access social media, make video calls or use any camera function while driving.

    The proposal makes exceptions for certain emergency calls and would allow for a single touch or swipe to activate a hands-free mechanism.

    Penalties under the bill would be the same as those already in place under the current state law that bans texting while driving: $100 for a first offense, $250 for a second offense and $500 for a third offense, with the third violation also bringing an automobile insurance surcharge."

    The law passed is as follows:

    Vehicle Code 23123.5 (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or an electronic wireless communications device unless the wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation, and it is used in that manner while driving.

    (b) This section shall not apply to manufacturer-installed systems that are embedded in the vehicle.
    (c) A handheld wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device may be operated in a manner requiring the use of the driver’s hand while the driver is operating the vehicle only if both of the following conditions are satisfied:
    (1) The handheld wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device is mounted on a vehicle’s windshield in the same manner a portable Global Positioning System (GPS) is mounted pursuant to paragraph (12) of subdivision (b) of Section 26708 or is mounted on or affixed to a vehicle’s dashboard or center console in a manner that does not hinder the driver’s view of the road.
    (2) The driver’s hand is used to activate or deactivate a feature or function of the handheld wireless telephone or wireless communications device with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger.
    (d) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.
    (e) This section does not apply to an emergency services professional using an electronic wireless communications device while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties.
    (f) For the purposes of this section, “electronic wireless communications device” includes, but is not limited to, a broadband personal communication device, a specialized mobile radio device, a handheld device or laptop computer with mobile data access, a pager, or a two-way messaging device.

    I totally support this law but there is a hidden issue. Police routinely cite drivers for texting at ted lights, even while stuck in traffic jams where no cars are moving.

    So the question is, does this constitute "driving" under the law.

    In preparation for this question I did some research. CA does not define what "driving" means under the law. The closest one can find is appellate law which states, "A person drives a vehicle when he or she intentionally causes it to move by exercising actual physical control over it. The person must cause the vehicle to move, but the movement may be slight."

    So, again, is a person guilty of driving while texting while stopped at a red light or while in a traffic jam and NOT moving?

    The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  3. #46
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildRose View Post
    You're drunk and you're in the car right? One of the problems with being drunk is that often people "wake up" and do all sorts of things and have no conscious idea or even memory of what they were doing.

    My senior year in HS we went out one night, I got drunk, went to sleep it off in the truck.

    A few hours later my "buddy" drove us home but unfortunately ran off the snowy, icy road and blew a tire hitting a culvert marker.

    He too being drunk flags another diver down, goes home and goes to sleep. A few hours late DPS finds me, hauls me in for DWI.

    Even though both the buddy driving and another testified on my behalf that I wasn't driving and had no idea the truck had even been moved I was found guilty of a DWI so I learned the law the hard way. Fortunately I was able to have the conviction vacated through deferred judgement and probation and if I hadn't it would have ruined my life.

    I have also learned in the decades since that people under the influence of both drugs and alcohol do all sorts of things in that state which are inexplicable otherwise.

    Mind altering substances are just that and when we willingly consume them we assume the responsibility for doing so.
    So based your story, if you ever get drunk and you have a drivers license, you should be convicted of a DUI because you have the potential to drive even if you were driven to the event by someone else. How about getting drunk in your home where you have access to the keys of your car? Should you be convicted of DUI? What about sleeping on top of your car while being drunk? How is that any different?

    That's akin to you being charged with murder if someone takes your gun without permission and kills somebody with it. If you hadn't bought that gun, it couldn't be used against someone.

    You speak of a liberal heaven of thought crimes. No concept of waiting for people to actually do something and have personal responsibility.
    Wherever you go, there you are.

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