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New law allows drivers to use voice text

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SAN DIEGO – In 2013, California motorists are allowed to drive and “voice” text, but the California High Patrol restated that the new law only applies if the driver’s hands stay on the wheel at all times.

Screen Shot 2012-12-31 at 5.52.14 PMAdvocates against distracted driving are warning drivers not all voice-activated devices are completely hands free.

“If you have to touch it, if you have to hold the electronic device, it’s illegal,” said California Highway Patrol officer Brian Pennings.

Many “speech to text” applications still require at least a push of a button or a tap on a screen.

“It’s up to each driver to find the type of technology that will both suit their needs and help them abide by the law,” said Pennings.

Although the law allows drivers to use the technology, Pennings suggests that drivers avoid using it if they can.

“The legislature puts laws into place, we will enforce them, but we always recommend in situations such as this, don’t do it [use voice to text] unless you absolutely have to,” said Pennings.

3 comments

  • grub

    is it against the law to use your hand to adjust the radio? is it against the law to hold a piece of paper with directions written on it? is it against the law to hand something to someone in your back seat? i understand that cell phone use while driving can be dangerous but the whole "no touch" rule is kind of ridiculous. btw, i don't even like cell phones and hate the idea that people can contact me in my car. i turn mine off in the car. BUT…i don't see the logic in some of the laws regarding cell phones. seems like government is getting too controlling.

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