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california legislation > AB 1536

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Bill No: AB 1536
Author: Miller (R)
Amended: 5/3/12 in Assembly
Vote: 21

AYES: DeSaulnier, Gaines, Harman, Kehoe, Lowenthal, Rubio,
NO VOTE RECORDED: Pavley, Simitian

: 69-3, 5/7/12 - See last page for vote

SUBJECT : Hands-free, voice-operated texting while

SOURCE : Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

DIGEST : This bill allows drivers to dictate, send, or
listen to text-based communications as long as they do so
using technology specifically designed and configured to
allow voice-operated and hands-free operation.

ANALYSIS : Existing law prohibits a driver from using an
electronic wireless communications device (such as a cell
phone) to write, send, or read any text-based communication
(e.g. text message, instant message, or email message).
Further, existing law does not consider reading, selecting,
or entering a telephone number into a wireless
communications device the same activity as texting and
therefore does not prohibit such action.

AB 1536

This bill:

1. Eliminates the prohibition of dictating, sending, or
listening to a text-based communication while driving as
long it is with an electronic wireless communications
device specifically designed and configured to allow
voice-operated and hands-free operation.

2. Expressly permits a person to activate or deactivate a
feature or function on an electronic wireless
communications device.


Purpose . According to the author's office, this bill aims
to clarify the use of voice-activated, hands-free devices
while driving. The author's office claims Americans spend
an average of 64 minutes per day commuting to and from work
and that it is unfair to require them to be out of touch
while behind the wheel as long as they are abiding by the
law. This bill allows drivers to use the most modern
communications systems and devices while maintaining the
safety of hands-free operation by simply allowing them to
use the latest voice-activated, hands-free technology.

Distracted driving . There have been many distracted
driving studies conducted by a variety of constituencies
and focused on a number of potential distractions. Nearly
all studies conclude that, in most instances, it is very
difficult to identify one single factor that led to an
adverse incident such as an automobile accident. Research
tends to show that accidents arise from an accumulation of
factors, including distractions within and outside the
vehicle, weather conditions, and even the driver's own
distracted thoughts. Adding distractions, such as
dictating or listening to text messages, can only increase
the risk of negative outcomes. The question is not whether
the use of voice-activated, hands-free communications
causes accidents and other negative consequences, but how
many distractions are enough to create an environment
potentially too risky and dangerous for people travelling
from one place to another.


AB 1536

FISCAL EFFECT : Appropriation: No Fiscal Com.: No
Local: No

SUPPORT : (Verified 6/14/12)

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (source)
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
Technology Association of America

ASSEMBLY FLOOR : 69-3, 5/7/12
AYES: Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Beall,
Bill Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bonilla, Bradford,
Buchanan, Butler, Charles Calderon, Campos, Carter,
Cedillo, Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Davis, Dickinson, Eng,
Feuer, Fong, Fuentes, Beth Gaines, Galgiani, Garrick,
Gatto, Gordon, Gorell, Grove, Harkey, Hayashi, Roger
Hernández, Hill, Huber, Hueso, Huffman, Jeffries, Jones,
Knight, Lara, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mansoor,
Mendoza, Miller, Mitchell, Monning, Morrell, Nielsen,
Norby, Perea, V. Manuel Pérez, Silva, Skinner, Smyth,
Solorio, Swanson, Torres, Valadao, Wagner, Wieckowski,
Williams, Yamada, John A. Pérez
NOES: Donnelly, Nestande, Olsen
NO VOTE RECORDED: Brownley, Fletcher, Furutani, Hagman,
Halderman, Hall, Pan, Portantino

JJA:k 6/14/12 Senate Floor Analyses


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