Add "texting" to the list of things you may not do in California while driving.  As previously reported in the Stoel Rives World of Employment, on July 1 this year, California banned talking on a cell phone while driving (although talking on a hands-free device is still okay).  However, the California legislature forgot to add texting to that ban. 

Senate Bill 28, signed by the Governator on September 24, 2008, fixed the loophole.  It reads: “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication.”  The bill took effect immediately. 

Employers in all states should consider amending their employee handbooks to discourage texting, cell phone use, computer use, or other distracting habits while employees drive on company business.  In the event of an accident during work time, an employer risks significant liability if it is found the accident was caused by a distracted employee.  If you don’t believe the Stoel Rives World of Employment, perhaps you will believe Katie Couric: