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Ask A Cop: Are Police Allowed to Talk on Cellphones While Driving?

"Hello. I've heard that it's a law that Police Officers also (like the general public) cannot talk on their cellphones while driving. Is this true?"

FILE PHOTO. For Police, personal calls, no. Work-related calls, yes.
FILE PHOTO. For Police, personal calls, no. Work-related calls, yes.

By Brad Kava

Question from a Patch Reader: 

Hello.  I've heard that it's a law that Police Officers also (like the general public) cannot talk on their cellphones while driving.  Is this true?  

Answer from Sgt. Dan Livingston, Campbell Police

There is an exception in the vehicle code for on-duty police officers while they are driving an emergency vehicle for work related matters, California Vehicle Code 23123.5(e).  Personal calls are not be covered by this exception.  However even with the exception, our officers pullover to the side of the road for non-urgent work related phone calls and only use their cellphones while driving when work-related situations make it necessary for them to do so. 

We encourage our officers to pull over whenever possible as we recognize that distracted driving from cellphone use is a significant cause of traffic collisions.      

Send your questions for law enforcement to Brad.Kava@patch.com.

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