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Expanded Restrictions On Phone Use While Driving To Go Into Effect In 2017

CORONA ( — You've seen it before -- drivers holding their phones and checking their GPS or fiddling with a playlist.

Now, a new state law is targeting those distracted drivers.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 26 signed into law a new set of restrictions that prohibit drivers from holding or operating a cell phone for any reason. (There is an exception for a single swipe if the phone is attached to a windshield or dashboard).

The new law takes effect Jan. 1. Fines start at $20 and increase to $50 for a second offense.

It is already illegal for drivers to call or text without a hands-free device, but the law does not address the use of navigation apps and other phone functions that have become popular since the first cell phone restrictions were put in place a decade ago.

State officials hope the new law will reduce crashes caused by distracted driving.

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