SACRAMENTO — State lawmakers sent two road-related proposals to the governor Tuesday, one that would hike fines for Californians who use a cellphone while driving and another that would exempt hybrid drivers from toll charges in car-pool lanes.
The cellphone bill, SB 1310 by state Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), would increase the current fine for driving while using a hands-on phone or text messaging from $20 to $30 for a first offense, and from $50 to $60 for a subsequent offense.
Lawmakers also gave final approval to a bill that would exempt drivers who own low-emission and hybrid vehicles from charges when they use "high-occupancy toll," or HOT, lanes. Currently, drivers must pay to use those lanes if they are not carrying passengers.
Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills), author of AB 2405, said he hopes the legislation will serve as an incentive for Californians to buy "clean cars" and help offset the costs of pricey hybrids.