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Push-to-talk cellphones no longer exempt from hands-free driving law

July 2, 2011 | 10:38 am

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0133ec57de5c970b-300wi

People using push-to-talk cellphones while driving now need hands-free devices under a new state law that took effect this week.

The push-to-talk cellphones, which work somewhat like walkie-talkies, were initially exempt from California's 2008 hands-free cellphone law. 

But a new law that took effect on Friday ended that exemption, which applied mostly to commercial drivers such as truckers and farm equipment operators.

Other laws taking effect this week include:

-- Residents who have a gas stove, fireplace or attached garage must install a carbon monoxide detector.

-- Current restaurant employees must pass a food-handling course. Those hired after Friday have 30 days to take the course, available online or in a classroom.

Read the full list of new laws here.

-- Corina Knoll

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Photo: Two motorists have their cells to their ears as they drive along Torrey Pines Boulevard in La Jolla. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times
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