SAN JOSE (CBS / AP) — California drivers will be allowed to text when they’re behind the wheel of a car, as long as they’re using a hands-free device, and with some restrictions.

Under a bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, beginning January 1, drivers will be able to send, dictate and listen to text messages, but only if they’re using a voice-activated device attached to a cellphone.

The new law, sponsored by California Assemblyman Jeff Miller, R-Corona, will allow Californians to text behind the wheel for the first time since texting while driving was outlawed more than three years ago.

But the there’s some confusion over the new law, including which devices will be legal.

The California Highway Patrol says simply turning on a cellphone, or selecting a phone’s hands-free text app, can result in a ticket.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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