Distracted Driving - AAA Digest of Motor Laws

Last updated: 04-22-2020

Read original article here

Distracted Driving - AAA Digest of Motor Laws

Distracted Driving
Alabama
Texting while driving is prohibited. Drivers aged 16 and drivers age 17 with intermediate licenses for less than 6 months are prohibited from using a handheld communication device while driving. Handheld cell phone use is prohibited in some municipalities, including Montgomery.
Arizona
Drivers under 18 with a learners permit and intermediate license holders during the first 6 months after licensing are prohibited from using wireless communication devices, a secondary offense. Text messaging and handheld cell phone use while driving are prohibited for all drivers (effective January 1, 2021). School bus drivers are prohibited from talking on a cell phone and driving, except in emergencies. Some cities have additional restrictions, including Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson that have a ban on texting while driving for all drivers and Coconino County has a ban on handheld cell phone use while driving.
Arkansas
Drivers age 18-20 are prohibited from using a hand-held cell phone while driving. Learner’s and intermediate license holders may not use interactive communication devices while driving. Text messaging is prohibited for drivers of all ages. No driver may use a handheld wireless telephone when passing a school building or school zone during school hours when children are present and outside the building; or in a highway work zone when a highway worker is present. School bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving, except in emergencies and while parked.
California
It is illegal to use a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle unless the cell phone is being used in hands-free mode. Persons under age 18 may not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device of any kind, including but not limited to a broadband personal communication device, a 2-way messaging device, pager, or laptop computer. All drivers are prohibited from using a wireless communication device to write, send, or read a text-based communication while driving. School bus drivers are not permitted to use cell phones.
Connecticut
No person shall text message or use a hand-held phone while driving. Drivers under 18 are subject to a complete ban on cell phone and mobile electronic device use. Connecticut also has a general law against distracted driving, prohibiting drivers from engaging in any activity not related to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the vehicle’s safe operation. School bus drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving except in emergencies.
Delaware
All drivers are prohibited from text messaging and handheld cell phone use. Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders are subject to a complete ban on cell phone use. School bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving, except in emergencies and while parked.
District of Columbia
The use of a hand-held cell phone and text messaging while driving are prohibited. Drivers with learner’s permits and school bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones of any type while driving. Distracted driving in general, which is defined as inattentive driving while operating a motor vehicle, is prohibited.
Florida
Texting while driving is banned for all drivers.  It can be ticketed as a secondary offense. Effective July 1, 2019, texting while driving can be ticketed as a primary offense. The use of handheld wireless communication devices is prohibited in designated school crossings, school zones, and work zones (effective October 1, 2019).
Use of a cellular phone with a headset is permitted while driving if sound is provided through 1 ear and allows surrounding sounds to be heard with other ear. Localities are prohibited from regulating the use of commercial mobile radio services, including cell phones.
Kentucky
Text messaging while driving is prohibited. Persons under the age of 18 who have been issued an instruction permit, intermediate license, or operator’s license are prohibited from driving while using any kind of personal communication device. Exempts the use of a global positioning or navigation system that is physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle.  School bus drivers may not use cell phones while driving.
Louisiana
Text messaging while driving is prohibited for all drivers. Driver’s 17 and younger and drivers in their first year of licensure are subject to a complete ban on the use of cell phones. Learner’s and intermediate license holders age 18 and older are subject to a secondary ban on the use of hand-held cell phones. School bus drivers may not use cell phones while driving.  Drivers are banned from using a wireless telecommunications device to access, read, or post to a social networking site.
Maine
Texting while driving is prohibited for all drivers.  Instruction permit and restricted license holders under 18 years of age are prohibited from using a cellular phone while driving. A person operating a motor vehicle while distracted is guilty of the infraction of failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle.
Maryland
Using a text messaging device to write, read, or send a text message while driving is prohibited for all drivers. The use of a handheld telephone is prohibited for all drivers.  The use of wireless communication devices by all drivers under 18 is prohibited.
Minnesota
Text messaging while driving is prohibited. All drivers are prohibited from using handheld wireless devices while driving (effective August 1, 2019). Permit holders and provisional license holders under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving.  School bus drivers may not use cell phones while driving.
Mississippi
All drivers are prohibited for texting while driving. Exempts the use of technology utilizing a cellular connection to a vehicle to relay vehicle operational information between the vehicle and a call center or repair facility, and vehicle navigation. School bus drivers may not use a wireless communication device when transporting minor passengers.
Missouri
Persons under 21 are prohibited from operating a moving motor vehicle while sending, reading, or writing a text message.  In some cities, including Chesterfield, Ellisville, Florissant, Kirkwood, Lake St. Louis, Manchester, O’Fallon, St. Charles, and St. John, texting while driving is banned for all drivers.
Montana
Text messaging while driving is prohibited in Missoula.  In Billings, Butte, Bozeman, Columbia Falls, Great Falls, Helena, and Whitefish, Montana, drivers are banned from text messaging and using hand-held cell phones. In Anaconda-Deer Lodge, Baker, Butte-Silver Bow, and Hamilton, drivers are banned from handheld cell phone use.
New Hampshire
Handheld cell phone use, text messaging, or the use of two hands to type on or operate an electronic or telecommunications device is prohibited for all drivers. All wireless device use is prohibited for all drivers under age 18. Anyone who drives a vehicle negligently or causes a vehicle to be driven negligently, or in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property shall be guilty of a violation.
No person shall use a hand-held phone or engage in text messaging while driving. Special learner’s permit, examination permit, and probationary license holders are subject to a complete ban on cell phone use.
School bus drivers are prohibited from talking on a cell phone and driving, except in emergencies.
Ohio
Drivers may not use a handheld electronic wireless communications device while driving (a secondary offense). Temporary instruction permit holders under age 18 and probationary license holders are prohibited from using any type of wireless device while driving. In addition, drivers may not engage in any activity that is not necessary to the operation of a vehicle and impairs, or reasonably would be expected to impair, the ability of the operator to drive the vehicle safely.
Cities in Ohio including Beachwood, Bexley, Brooklyn, Marietta, North Olmsted, North Royalton, Shaker Heights, South Euclid, Walton Hills, and Woodmer, have banned drivers from using hand-held cell phones. In cities including Lyndhurst, Moreland Hills, Portsmouth and Pepper Pike, texting while driving is a standard offense.
Oklahoma
Texting while driving is banned for all drivers. Drivers can be cited for not devoting full time and attention to driving if observed by a police officer driving in such a manner that poses an articulable danger to other persons on the roadway or if the driver is involved in an accident. Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders may not use a hand-held electronic device while driving.  School bus drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.
Oregon
All drivers are prohibited from text messaging. Drivers under 18 are prohibited from using a mobile communication device while driving. Drivers over 18 may not use or hold a mobile electronic device in either hand or both hands while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays.
South Dakota
Texting while driving is prohibited. A secondary offense. Instruction/learner’s permit and restricted minor’s permit/intermediate license holders are prohibited from wireless device use while driving. A secondary offense. In some cities, including Aberdeen and Rapid City, South Dakota, texting while driving is a standard offense. Additionally, in some cities, including Box Elder, handheld cell phone use is prohibited.
Tennessee
Text messaging is prohibited for all drivers. Learner’s permit or intermediate driver’s license holders are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving. School bus drivers are prohibited from talking on a cell phone and driving, except in emergencies. All drivers are prohibited from using handheld mobile telephone in a marked school zone when flashers are in operation. All drivers are prohibited from using a handheld mobile telephone while driving (effective July 1, 2019)
Texas
Texting is prohibited for all drivers. The use of a wireless communication device while driving in a school zone is prohibited unless the device is hands free. Drivers under 18 are prohibited from using a wireless communication device. Passenger bus drivers transporting minor passengers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving.
Cities in Texas, including Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, El Paso, San Antonio, and Stephenville, have prohibited handheld cell phone use while driving.
Virginia
Text messaging and emailing while driving is prohibited for all drivers. Learner’s permit and provisional driver’s license holders under 18 are subject to a complete ban on cell phone use (secondarily enforced). All drivers are prohibited from using handheld communication devices while driving in a highway work zone (effective July 1, 2019). School bus drivers may not use cell phones while driving.
Washington
Drivers are prohibited holding personal electronic devices or using your finger to interact with a device while driving, beyond one-touch activation of an app or function. Texting is banned for all drivers. Instruction permit and intermediate license holders are prohibited from using any wireless communication device while driving.
Drivers can be cited for driving dangerously by engaging in any activity not related to the actual operation of the motor vehicle, a secondary offense.
West Virginia
Drivers are prohibited holding personal electronic devices or using your finger to interact with a device while driving, beyond one-touch activation of an app or function. Texting is banned for all drivers.  Instruction permit and intermediate license holders are prohibited from using any wireless communication device while driving.
Drivers can be cited for driving dangerously by engaging in any activity not related to the actual operation of the motor vehicle, a secondary offense.


Read the rest of this article here