SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Starting today, drivers in California and Washington state will have to use hands-free phones to make or take calls while behind the wheel. Young drivers in California can't use phones at all.
California is banning 16 and 17-year-old drivers from talking or text messaging, unless it's an emergency.
Texting is not specifically prohibited for adults, but police say it's generally covered under statutes aimed at distracted drivers.
The new laws are part of a movement across the U.S. to get drivers' attention focused on the road rather than their conversations and their gadgets.
New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Utah are among the states
with laws mandating hands-free use of cell phones.