Illegal For Teens To Use Hands-Free Texting

Technology only allowed in emergency situations

New Texting Law for Teens

MONTEREY, Calif. - If you have a teenager at home with a driver's license, you may want to listen up.  There's a change to the laws governing texting while driving.  Now it's illegal for anyone 18 years old or younger to use voice-activated technology to write or read a text.  Some people we spoke with said they're not sure this change in the law hits at the real issue. 

Teenager Anthony Aliotti said he only uses the voice-activated app on his iPhone to create a text message every once in while.  While he said the app can be annoying to use -- it's still better than risking his life texting while driving.

"So that would be the only other option.  But if they're gonna make that illegal too, why not just pick up the phone and text?" asked Anthony Aliotti.

Lawmakers said if you're caught a ticket will cost $20 the first time and $50 every time after.  Because officers can't stop a teen solely for the purpose of checking for hands-free texting, some doubt the law will put a dent in the real problem.

"Simple as possible to make a quick response.  It is safer than texting of course.  But since it's not perfect, my take is I'm sure that most of these young people are not using it, its more of an inconvenience," said iBreak uPhix Hong Kim. 

While laws to keep people from texting behind the wheel are important, some said driver education should get just as much attention. 

"It's a whole separate issue even allowing young people to drive at a certain age and giving that kind of responsibility, then multitasking.  I still say it's a bigger problem, not just the cellphone use," Kim said.

One important thing to note -- this change doesn't apply to anyone using a cellphone for an emergency to contact law enforcement.

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