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01/02/09 09-001

01/02/09 09-001

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January 2, 2009


New Law Regulating Text Based Communications While Driving Motor Vehicle

Effective January 1, 2009, it is against the law for drivers to write, send, or read a text-based communication while driving.

 Write, send, or read a text-based communication means using an electronic wireless communications device to manually communicate with any person using a text-based communication, including, but not limited to, communications referred to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail.

A person shall not be deemed to be writing, reading, or sending a text-based communication if the person reads, selects, or enters a telephone number or name in an electronic wireless communications device for the purpose of making or receiving a telephone call.

The base fine for a first offense conviction is $20.00, and $50.00 for subsequent violations, however, every County sets additional court assessment and administrative fees. A conviction for this infraction will appear on the driver's DMV record; however, DMV will not assign a violation point.

There is no grace period for this new law. This law also applies to out-of-California residents that drive within the State of California, even though such laws may not have been enacted in the driver's home state. This law does not apply to passengers.

This law will be enforced in the City and County of San Francisco to ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians who use our streets on a daily basis.

For more information, please contact: S. F. P. D. Public Affairs.

850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103
Tel (415) 553-1651 / Fax (415) 553-9229

Last updated: 9/14/2009 11:34:07 AM