Governor Brown Vetoes New Cell Phone Fines

Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill Tuesday that would’ve increased fines for drivers who use cell phones while behind the wheel.

Senate Bill 28 would’ve increased the fine for driving and using a cell phone without a hands-free device to up to $328 for first-time offenders.

A second ticket would have offenders coughing up as much as $528.

SB 28 would’ve also added fines for using a cell phone while riding a bicycle.

State Senator Joe Simitian authored the bill. Simitian says the bill’s purpose was to cut down or even remove road distractions, calling it “an issue of public safety.”

“I certainly support discouraging cell phone use while driving a car, but not ratcheting up the penalties as prescribed by this bill,” Governor Brown said in his veto message.

“For people of ordinary means, current fines and penalty assessments should be sufficient deterrent,” Brown continued.