OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - A new law aimed at preventing distracted driving goes into effect Jan. 1.
The law aimed at preventing distracted driving affects how you use your cell phone in the car.
The new law prohibits drivers from holding and operating their devices while driving. So no more looking down while you're using Google maps or Waze for directions. No more looking down at your playlist to change the music you're listening to. It will also illegal to take pictures while driving.
DMV data shows there were 12 deadly crashes last year from distracted driving with handheld cell phones, 500 injuries, and 700 property damage collisions.
The new law does allow for an exception. A driver is allowed to use their hand on an electronic device if it only requires a single swipe or the tap of a finger. But that's only if the device is mounted to the vehicle's dashboard or windshield.
Wireless stores have been getting quite a few customers inquiring about the new law. Many customers are buying a lot of wireless ear pieces and mounts for their cars because they don't want to get fined.
There are several other new laws going into effect in 2017.
Starting January 1st, beauty salons and barber shops will be legally allowed to serve alcohol to customers, as long as it's free, and before 10 p.m.
Some beauty shops were already doing this, which was technically against the law without a liquor license.
Also, there are three new laws, prompted by the sexual assault case involving former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner.
One makes sexually assaulting an unconscious person, a crime with a mandatory prison sentence.
Another expands the definition of rape to include all forms of non-consensual sexual assault.
The third one will do away with the statute of limitations on sex offenses committed, after the law goes into effect.