Regulations and UC policy
California hand-held wireless telephone law prohibits drivers from using a hand-held cell phone while operating a vehicle. Hands-free operation of cell phones and use for emergency purposes is permitted.
California Vehicle Code, Section 23123.5 Electronic Wireless Communications Device Prohibited Use prohibits writing, sending, or reading text-based communications on an electronic wireless communications device, such as a cell phone, while driving a motor vehicle.
UC cell phone policy requires employees to avoid using a university-provided cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. See:
- UC Business & Finance Bulletin G-46: Guidelines for the Purchase and Use of Cellular Phones and Other Portal Electronic Resources (PDF)
- Using UCSD Cell Phones, PDAs, and Laptops
- California’s Wireless Telephone Laws (PDF), UCOP Office of Risk Services
- Wireless Telephone Laws FAQs, California Highway Patrol
Hang up and drive
Using a headset or speaker phone helps keep your hands on the steering wheel, but won't keep your attention on driving. Learn more about the danger of distracted driving.
- Survey Results Reveal Distracted Driving Habits of San Diegans, UC San Diego News Center, April 10, 2013
- Distraction.gov, official U.S. government website for distracted driving
- Distracted Driving, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Carnegie Mellon Brain Study Provides Conclusive Evidence that Cell Phones Distract Visual Perception and Communication for Drivers, Carnegie Mellon University Medial Relations, July 26, 2001
- TREDS - Training, Research and Education for Driving Safely
Radio frequency (RF) energy
Cell phone users concerned about possible health risks associated with RF emitted by the phones can take these precautions:
- Reduce the amount of time you spend on cell phones by using a conventional phone whenever possible.
- In your car, use a hands-free device or speaker mode.
- Purchase a phone with a low specific absorption rate (SAR). SAR is measured in watts per kilogram of RF, and the maximum SAR allowed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is 1.6. In contrast, some "low-radiation" phones have SARs lower than 0.5.