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Cell phones and driving

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Laws regulating the ability of individuals to use cellular devices while driving.

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Contents

State and Local Law

There has been several studies that verify that the reaction time of cell phone users are dramatically slow and sluggish increasing the risk of accidents and tying up traffic in general.There has been a jurisdiction-wide ban on driving while talking on a hand-held cell phone  that has gone into place in 7 states:  California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Utah, and Washington and also the District of Columbia. Utah has named the offense careless driving. Under the Utah law, no one commits an offense when speaking on a cell phone unless they are also committing some other moving violation other than speeding.[1]

There have also been individual cities itself who have had driving while talking on a cell phone laws.  Local jurisdictions may or may not need specific state legal authority to ban cell phones. Localities that have passed restrictions on cell phone use include: Oahu, HI; Twin Falls, ID;[2] Chicago, IL; Brookline, MA; Detroit, MI; Santa Fe, NM; Brooklyn, North Olmstead, and Walton Hills, OH; Conshohocken, Lebanon, and West Conshohocken, PA; Waupaca County, WI; and Cheyenne, WY.

Although there are various states who disallow their cities from have driving while talking on a cell phone law. Localities that are prohibited from banning cell phone use in 8 states (Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah).

There is also been laws passed for city certified workers who are prohibited in using a cell phone while driving. The use of all cell phones while driving a school bus is prohibited in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

The use of all cellphones by beginner drivers have also been restricted in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

All Drivers Cell Phone Ban

Some states restrict use of a cellphone for all drivers, no matter what their driving experience is. However, many states do have provisions that allow the use of cellphones if a hands-free device is utilized.

States with an all drivers cell phone usage ban
State Statute Details
California Cal. Vehicle Code §23123 Driver cannot use cell phone unless using a hands-free device for listening and talking
Connecticut Conn. Gen. Stat. §14-296aa Driver cannot use cell phone unless using a hands-free device for listening and talking. Bus drivers are restricted from using cellphones.
Delaware Del. Code §4176C [effective Jan. 2, 2011] Driver cannot use cell phone unless using a hands-free device for listening and talking. Bus drivers are restricted from cell phone use (see Del. Code §4176B
Illinois Cellphone use is restricted when driving in school zones or highway construction zones.
Maryland
New Jersey
New York
Oregon
Texas Tex. Transportation Code §545.425 Driver cannot use cell phone unless using a hands-free device for listening and talking. Cell phone use is restricted when driving in school zones.
Virgin Islands
Washington
Washington D.C.

Novice Drivers Cell Phone Ban

Some states have restricted only a certain group of drivers from using cell phones while driving. Typically, these states are restricting cell phone useage from novice drivers, who are either under a certain age or are a new driver.

States with a cell phone usage ban for novice drivers
State Statute Details
Alabama
Arkansas
California Cal. Vehicle Code §23124 Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone even with a hands-free device
Colorado Colo. Rev. Stat. §42-4-239 Drivers under 18 are prohibited from using a wireless phone while driving.
Connecticut Conn. Gen. Stat. §14-296aa Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone even with a hands-free device
Delaware
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine Maine Rev. Stat. §2116 A driver under the age of 18 years old cannot use a cellphone while driving. A fine for the first offense is at least $50 and not less than $250 for a second and subsequent offenses.
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Nebraska
New Jersey
North Carolina
Oregon
Rhode Island
Tennessee
Texas Texas Transportation Code §545.424 Drivers under the age of 18 cannot use a wireless communications device while driving.
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington
West Virginia


Laws Regulating Texting While Driving

Other than the law that prohibits talking on a cell phone while driving, many states have prohibited texting while driving as well.

References

  1. http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html
  2. http://handsfreeinfo.com/idaho-cell-phone-laws-legislation

External Links

Related Resources on FindLaw

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