Phone mounts for new hands-free driving law nearly sold out at some stores

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SAN DIEGO -- San Diegans are not taking any chances when it comes to the state's new law that prohibits drivers from holding and operating a handheld device unless it is mounted inside the vehicle.

Products that mount devices on the windshield or attach to a dashboard or center console have been available for some time, but have been in even higher demand since the law went into effect January 1. Under the new bill, drivers can only use their hands to activate or deactivate a feature or function on the device that requires a single swipe or tap.

Read More: New traffic-related laws to go into effect on Jan. 1

“I may have gotten one of the last of these things,” said Penelope Tomlinson, one of many customers to pick up a mount at the Best Buy in Mission Valley.

Store employees told FOX 5 that Sunday, their racks were completely full of the products. Now, just two days later, it’s slim pickings, but shoppers can still find them starting at $19.99.

“I would say the most popular ones are the magnetized ones like this Logitech one. They have the ability to just clip this clip into the back of the phone. This clips onto the vent," said employee Johnny Vasquez.

“I think it’s very good. I do not like to see people with phones in their hands while they're driving,” said Tomlinson.

The fine is $20 for the first offense and $50 for every following offense.

The new law does not apply to systems that are installed by manufacturers and embedded in the vehicle. San Diego police told FOX 5 if it’s built in, it is considered part of your vehicle. Police say for safety reasons, built-in systems only allow you to do so much while actually driving.

Previous law stated that drivers could not use a wireless electronic device to write, send or read a text-based communication, except through voice-operated and hands-free features.