Posted by cyd evans

I saw an officer talking on a cell phone while driving a marked car yesterday. Don’t the same rules apply to police officers as the general public regarding only using hands free devices?

Dear cyd evans,

Police officers are to abide by the same rules of the road as citizens. However, there are some exceptions to these rules – for instance, when talking on a cell phone while driving, California Vehicle Code Section 23123 (d). This section does not apply to an emergency services professional using a wireless telephone while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties. This translates to, if the officer is using the phone for official business then this law applies. If they are talking to their spouse about non-police business for example, then they are in the wrong.

Police do a lot of business on their cell phones, and our cars are like our offices. We use the computers and cell phones for every call for service. We coordinate with other units, with dispatch, records, get additional information from victims, talk to citizens, Deputy District Attorneys, supervisors, and coordinate with outside agencies all on the cell phone. Thank you for your post.

Officer Michelle