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Ask A Cop: How Come I See Police Talking on Cell Phones While Driving?

For police, personal calls, no. Work-related calls, yes.

For police, personal calls, no. Work-related calls, yes. Patch graphic
For police, personal calls, no. Work-related calls, yes. Patch graphic
Editor's note: This article was compiled by Patch Editor Brad Kava. He occasionally asks local law enforcement to answer readers' questions. Send your queries to brad.kava@patch.com. Thank you.

Question from a Patch Reader: 

Hello. I've heard that it's a law that police officers also (like the general public) cannot talk on their cell phones while driving. Is this true?  

Answer from Campbell police Sgt. Dan Livingston: 

There is an exception in the vehicle code for on-duty police officers while they are driving an emergency vehicle for work- related matters, California Vehicle Code 23123.5(e). Personal calls are not to be covered by this exception.  However even with the exception, our officers pull over to the side of the road for non-urgent work-related phone calls and only use their cell phones while driving when work-related situations make it necessary for them to do so. 

We encourage our officers to pull over whenever possible as we recognize that distracted driving from cell phone use is a significant cause of traffic collisions.       

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