Does Using a Cellphone at a Red Light Violate Prohibitions against Cellphone Use While Driving?

Using a cellphone at a red light violates laws against cellphone use while driving, under California law. Although the car is not moving when stopped at a red light or stop sign, the driver is technically still considered to be driving, which violates California's law against using handheld cellphones at any time while driving. As of 2011, California was one of nine U.S. states that had banned handheld cellphone use while driving. The District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have banned this as well.

More facts about using cellphones while driving:

  • One survey found that about 20 percent of drivers in the U.S. have accessed the Internet on a smart phone while driving. "Webbing" while driving can include composing emails, using apps or using the phone to get directions.

  • As of 2011, 35 U.S. states had laws against texting while driving. Experiments have shown that texting while driving can add more than 17 times the distance to a driver's stopping distance as being legally drunk does.

  • It is illegal to use either a hand-held or hands-free phone while driving in Japan.

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