Stats Show You Can Get Away With Texting in Car

Only 88 citations statewide

In the first 28 days since it's been a law, the California Highway Patrol has issued only 16 tickets in the Bay Area for text messaging while driving.

The law took effect Jan. 1.

Statewide, there have been a whopping 88 citations issued for text messaging while driving, according to CHP Sgt. Trent Cross.

Even though the numbers appear to be miniscul, the CHP says the law is an important one.

"It's very dangerous," Cross said. "It's important for people to  focus on their driving and not be distracted by anything."

He said he has not heard of any remarkable protests to the new law when officers cite drivers caught text messaging.

The first citation one receives warrants a $20 fine, but first-time citations are also accompanied by about $100 in court fees.

Each time a driver is caught text messaging after the first citation, a ticket of $50 is issued, in addition to about $200 in court fees,  according to Cross.

Another statewide law that prohibits talking on a cell phone without using a hands free device while driving went into effect July 1, 2008.

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