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New Law Slaps Teens With $20 Fine For Phone Use While Driving

It will soon be against the law for California teenagers to use cell phones while behind the wheel. Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation on Thursday creating the new law. From Sacramento, Marian

It will soon be against the law for California teenagers to use cell phones while behind the wheel. Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation on Thursday creating the new law. From Sacramento, Marianne Russ reports.

The bill makes it illegal for anyone under 18 to use electronic devices such as cell phones while driving.

The governor says the new law is in line with what he tells his own kids.

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<b> Schwarzenegger </b> : I told my daughters, I give you the car, I give you the cell phone, but if I see you one time using them both at the same time, both of them are gone.

Democratic State Senator Joe Simitian wrote the bill.

<b> Simitian </b> : The crash rates for 16-year-olds are five times greater than they are for their 18-year-old friends. If we can just get these kids to put down the PDA, the text messager, the cell phone, for a couple of years, we're going to save a lot of lives -- not only theirs, but ours as well.
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The law goes into effect next July, the same time another Simitian bill becomes law. That's the one that makes it illegal for anyone to talk on a cell phone while driving unless they use a hands-free device.

Both laws carry $20 fines for the first offense -- $50 for the second.