Today's The Day. Put That Phone Down While Driving In California, Or Pay $20

I hope you got it out of your system, people. Today’s the day that you can no longer use a handheld mobile device in California and Washington (the two states where I spend most of my time). So break out the Bluetooth headsets and don’t even think about checking emails. It’s the law.

The first time fine in California is just $20, but the real deterrent is public opinion. Yesterday it was acceptable to drive around Silicon Valley talking on the phone. Today, people will give you dirty looks.

Of course, many other states and lots of countries have had no-mobile-while-driving laws for years. It’s just a matter of time before everywhere else jumps on board, too.

There’s just one problem – some studies have shown that talking on hands-free devices are just as dangerous as talking on cell phones regularly.

And of course one result of the new law will be that people who talk on their cell phones while driving now have to keep a lookout for the police, too, distracting them even more.