This means if you are caught talking on a cellular phone that is in your hand while operating a motor vehicle, you will be pulled over and issued a citation. Subsequent citations for the same offense will incur a larger fine than the first offense. If you would like to read the law in full, check out http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc23123.htm.
Hands free communication is actually nothing new to the automobile. As long as cellular phones have been installed into motor vehicles, there has been a hands free speaker phone option. It was not until the rise in popularity of the hand held cell phone, that hands free operation decreased. Later came the advent of the "hard wired" cell phone kits. These allowed you to "dock" your hand held cellular phone in the vehicle, giving it the ability to make hands free calls. These kits worked well for the most part, with the only major drawback being that they were very phone specific. That meant that when you got a new model of cellular phone, you would have to change the entire kit out for a new one, which could get very costly after a few changes.
Today's hands free systems no longer need to rely on a model specific format at all, but instead use a wireless form of connectivity called Bluetooth. Bluetooth was developed 10 years ago, and was named after a 10th century Danish King named Herald Bluetooth, in homage to the Scandinavian developers of the technology. It has the capacity to take care of simple device communication tasks such as hands free talking, to advanced data transfer functions such as phone contact info, electronic business card, photographs, phone status displays such as battery life and antenna strength, and much more. It just depends on the device's capabilities. The typical operational range currently is rated at about 30 feet, although 20 feet is I bit more practical. At the very least, when you buy a cellular phone that is Bluetooth enabled, it means at the very least that you get hands free functionality.
Bluetooth hands free devices can be divided into three basic categories:
The most commonly thought of hands free devices, these are typically worn on or in your ear. They have a built in speaker and microphone, and have a built in rechargeable battery. On the plus side, they can be the least expensive in the entry-level models, and they can go with you anywhere. On the go, they seem to be the best choice. The drawbacks are that you need to keep that battery charged to work. Also eventually, as all with all rechargeable batteries, the life decreases after time. In the car, you need to either wear it in you ear at all times, or keep it close by, so you can get that incoming phone call before it goes to your voicemail. If you are someone who likes their music at more than moderate volumes, this type of hands free does not offer any increased volume of alert signal to you when your phone is ringing. Missed calls are almost inevitable.
These units are specifically for the car, and can be an improvement over the headsets in a few aspects. These are typically units that clip onto your sun visor, looking like a large garage door remote control, or some plug into your cigarette lighter that will have a built in or sometimes detached speaker and or microphone. Some models in the visor category operate on batteries, so the whole keeping the charged battery downfall applies. Also these are in good position with the visor in the upright position, but if you flip the visor down in order to block the sun, you in effect turn the microphone and speaker away from you, making the operation of the unit poor. Most of these units have a built in microphone that is in close proximity to it's speaker, so feedback and echo can sometimes be a problem, and last but not least, the speaker size in these units typically are on the small side, giving you less sound output. Speaking of sound, you still have to keep the music at a moderate level to hear the ringer of the unit when a call comes in.
This type of unit offers the most superior operation in call clarity, both for you in the car allowing the sound to come from the vehicles speakers, and for the recipient, because of the separate dedicated microphone. They can also have advanced operation such as built in voice activation, automatic muting of your car stereo when a call comes in or out, display functions such as caller ID display, Phone book operation, battery life, and antenna strength indication on an information display screen. Some vehicles come with these types of kits as factory options, and many do not. We install these kits into all vehicles, to give you optimum hands free operation on the road. These kits typically last the longest, and the aftermarket versions can be transferred to a new vehicle if you wish when the vehicle is sold. Some of the latest in these kits are actually software upgradeable, allowing the greatest in compatibility for phones present, and phones yet to be released.
Just let us know what we can do to make your hands free drive a safe one. Free from costly citations and even more importantly accidents that could be avoided by driving with both hands on the wheel.