New cell phone laws go into effect July 1

July 1 is the day that many states implement new laws recently passed by their respective legislatures. This First of July is no different. Of particular note are new laws regarding the use of mobile phones in moving vehicles. In both California and Washington State it will be a crime to talk on a mobile phone without using a handsfree device. In Washington, it's a secondary offense, meaning that you won't get ticketed just for holding a phone to your ear: you'll need to be stopped for something else first, like driving erratically or running a red light. Not so in California, where law enforcement can stop you specifically for talking on the phone while driving.

There are plenty of options that can help you stay connected. Older phones can often use a wired earphone and microphone combination, or can operate as speakerphones. Most newer phones support Bluetooth headsets.

For a complete rundown on rules regarding mobile phone use in your car, visit the Governors Highway Safety Association website.

And remember to drive safely.

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