02 Nov IN WHICH STATES IS CELL PHONE USE WHILE DRIVING ILLEGAL?
If you’ve wondered what the law is in your state regarding cell phone use while operating a vehicle or texting and driving, you’re not alone. Legal jargon and fluff can make it somewhat confusing to understand the legality. That’s why we here at Sentinel, decided to break it down for you. So you have that “ah-ha, now I get it moment.”
This article gives a breakdown of distracted driving laws by each state and the violations and penalties faced if an adult or teenage driver can expect if being stopped by police for distracted driving. Whether you’re seeking to move to a new state, driving through a specific state, or visiting a new U.S. city, it’s important to know these laws as not all distracted driving laws are created equal throughout the United States.
Primary Offense: An offense which a law enforcement officer can stop a car and issue a citation for violating driving laws.
Secondary Offense: An offense in which a driver or a passenger a get a citation AFTER a driver has been pulled over for a primary offense.
|All cell phone ban||Texting ban||Enforcement||Crash Data Collection|
|Alabama||No||Drivers age 16 and 17 who have held an intermediate license for less than 6 months.||All drivers||Primary|
|Arizona||No||School bus drivers; Learner’s permit and provisional license holders during the first six months after licensing (effective 6/30/2018)||No||Primary: cell phone use by school bus drivers
Secondary: cell phone use by young drivers (effective 6/30/2018)
|Arkansas||Drivers ages 18 to 20 years of age; school and highway work zones||School bus drivers, drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary: for texting by all drivers and cell phone use by school bus drivers.
Secondary: for cell phone use by young drivers, drivers in school and work zones
|California||All drivers||School and transit bus drivers and drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary: hand held and texting by all drivers.
Secondary: all cell phone use by young drivers.
|Colorado||No||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Connecticut||All drivers||Learner’s permit holders, drivers younger than 18, and school bus drivers||All drivers||Primary|
|Delaware||All drivers||Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders and school bus drivers||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|District of Columbia||All drivers||School bus drivers and learner’s permit holders||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Georgia||Yes (eff. 7/1/18)||School bus drivers. Drivers younger than 18.||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Hawaii||All Drivers||Drivers younger than 18||All Drivers||Primary|
|Illinois||All Drivers||Learner’s permit holders younger than 19, drivers younger than 19, and school bus drivers||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Indiana||No||Drivers under the age of 21.||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Iowa||No||Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Primary: for all offenses (effective July 1, 2017).||Yes|
|Kansas||No||Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Kentucky||No||Drivers younger than 18, School Bus Drivers.||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Louisiana||No||School bus drivers, learner’s permit and intermediate license holders, drivers under age 18||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Maine**||No||Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Maryland||All drivers, School Bus Drivers.||Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders under 18. School bus drivers.||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Massachusetts||Local option||School bus drivers,
passenger bus drivers, drivers younger than 18.
|Michigan||Local option||Level 1 or 2 license holders.||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Minnesota||No||School bus drivers, learner’s permit holders, and provisional license holders during the first 12 months after licensing||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Mississippi||No||School bus drivers.||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Missouri||No||No||Drivers 21 years or younger.||Primary|
|Nebraska||No||Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders younger than 18||All drivers||Secondary||Yes|
|Nevada||All drivers||No||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|New Hampshire||Yes||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|New Jersey||All drivers||School bus drivers, and learner’s permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|New Mexico||Local option||Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders.||All Drivers||Primary||Yes|
|New York||All drivers||No||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|North Carolina||No||Drivers younger than 18 and school bus drivers||All drivers||Primary|
|North Dakota||No||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Ohio||Local option||Drivers younger than 18.||All drivers||Primary: for drivers younger than 18.
Secondary: for texting by all drivers.
|Oklahoma||Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders, school bus drivers and public transit drivers||School Bus Drivers and Public Transit Drivers||All Drivers.||Primary||Yes|
|Oregon||All drivers||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Pennsylvania||Local option||No||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Puerto Rico||All drivers||All drivers||Primary|
|Rhode Island||Yes||School bus drivers and drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|South Carolina||No||No||All drivers||Primary||Yes***|
|South Dakota||No||Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Secondary||Yes|
|Tennessee||Drivers in marked school zones (effective 01/01/18)||School bus drivers, and learner’s permit and intermediate license holders||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|Texas||Drivers in school crossing zones||Bus drivers. Drivers younger than 18||All drivers (effective 09/01/2017)||Primary||Yes|
|Utah||See footnote*||Drivers under
the age of 18.
|All drivers||Primary for texting; secondary for talking on hand-held phone||Yes|
|Vermont||All drivers||Drivers younger than 18||All drivers||Primary|
|Virginia||No||Drivers younger than 18 and school bus drivers||All drivers||Primary: for texting by all drivers.
Secondary: for drivers younger than 18.
|Washington||All drivers||Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders.||All drivers||Primary||Yes|
|West Virginia||All Drivers||Drivers younger than 18 who hold either a learner’s permit or an intermediate license||All drivers||Primary|
|Wisconsin||No||Learner’s permit or
|Total||All drivers: 15 states and District of Columbia, Guam, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.||School Bus drivers: 21 states and District of Columbia.
Teen drivers: 38 states and District of Columbia.
|All Drivers: 47 states and District of Columbia, Guam, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.||Primary for all drivers texting: 43 states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Secondary for all drivers texting: 4.
|40 states, U.S. Virgin Islands and District of Columbia.|