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Eyes on the road

Lee Jackson | 6/11/2008, 5 p.m.

Starting July 1, the Auto Club of Southern California said that two cell phone laws will become law.
The auto club said that it will be illegal for drivers to use a hand-held cell phone while operating a vehicle. And for drivers under 18, it will be illegal to use any cell phone or other electronic device while driving.
Despite the ban, the law still allows drivers of all ages to use a hand-held phone or other mobile device in case of emergency, according to Steve Bloch of the Auto Club.
Bloch said that even a hands-free cell phone can be a distraction.
The law will also be in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The Auto Club offered the following tips to help motorists obey the new law: wait until you reach your destination to accept of make cell phone calls; ask a passenger to make your cell phone call; if you must take a cell phone call, pull into a parking lot and shut off your engine; suspend all cell phone conversations during hazardous traffic and weather conditions; and plan your route in advance to reduce the need to call for directions.
Fines for violations range from $70 for a first offense to $190 for a repeat offense, when court costs and penalties are factored in, Bloch said.