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BILL WOULD KEEP TEEN DRIVERS OFF PHONE.

Byline: STEVEN HARMON

MediaNews Sacramento Bureau

SACRAMENTO -- The state Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill Monday that bans drivers under the age of 18 from using their cell phones -- hands-free device or not -- while they are behind the wheel.

SB 33, by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, makes it an infraction for those under the age of 18 to use a cell phone, pager, text-messaging device or laptop while driving.

It was approved on a 62-5 vote but must now go back to the Senate for a final vote on technical amendments made in the Assembly before heading to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who must sign or veto it in 30 days.

The Governor's Office said Schwarzenegger has not taken a position on the bill, but Simitian is optimistic. The governor has previously said he doesn't allow his daughter to talk on the cell phone while driving and he previously signed another bill by Simitian that restricts all drivers from using cell phones unless they are using a hands-free device.

That law goes into effect on July 1, 2008 -- the same date SB 33 would go into effect, if also signed into law.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 28, 2007
Words:191
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