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in what circumstances can you legally use your cell phone while driving

by Stella Osinski III Published 1 year ago Updated 2 months ago
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A driver can use a cell phone while driving in the following situations:

  • To report an emergency and get help,
  • When a driver is on the shoulder of the road and parked,
  • While stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the car is in neutral or park,
  • When using a GPS device, including devices that come with the car, and

Full Answer

What is the primary enforcement of cell phone laws?

How many states have banned cell phones?

What states have cell phone bans?

When will Michigan allow cell phone use?

What is the website for distracted driving?

How long can a driver be in jail for texting?

When did the new phone law come into effect?

See 4 more

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What is the cell phone law in Colorado?

Adult drivers. Regular cell phone use for voice calls is permitted. Headphones may be worn in one ear for this purpose. However, adult drivers are prohibited from manual data entry and transmission on a cell phone (i.e., to send a text message or browse the internet) while behind the wheel.

Can you have your phone in your hand while driving?

Handheld Cell Phone Use: 25 states currently have laws that ban handheld cell phone use for all drivers with primary enforcement. Five states have partial bans on handheld cell phones – Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. (Arizona recently passed a law moving it's ban from novice drivers to all drivers)

What is an exception for using a cell phone while you are driving?

Exceptions to the Handheld Cell Phone Ban Handheld cellphones may be used: to make an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, medical provider, fire department, or other emergency service agency.

Is it legal to text and drive in Colorado?

Adult drivers may use their cell phones for voice calls, but are prohibited from sending a text message. Drivers younger than 18 years old are prohibited from using a cell phone for any purpose and can be fined and/or risk losing their license. Exceptions include emergency situations only.

What is the new law about mobile phones in cars?

The Law. It is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone or similar device when driving, stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic. You will receive a fine of £200 and 6 penalty points if you are caught using a handheld phone while driving.

Is it legal to use your phone while driving in the US?

All cellphone ban: No state bans all cellphone use for all drivers, but 36 states and D.C. ban all cellphone use by novice or teen drivers, and 18 states and D.C. prohibit any cellphone use for school bus drivers.

Is it illegal for passenger to be on phone?

As a passenger, you are able to use your mobile phone as long as it is not distracting the driver. You must never encourage the driver to look away and lose concentration of their surroundings. As the driver, on the other hand, you must not, under any circumstances, use your mobile phone while driving.

Is talking on Bluetooth while driving illegal?

Talking on the phone while driving has been illegal in India for many years now. However, since the official rule does not state anything about Bluetooth or handsfree devices, most motorists use that while driving to talk on the phone.

What type of distracted driving is cell phone use?

Cognitive DistractionsCognitive Distractions A cognitive distraction is something that causes you to lose focus or takes your mind off driving. Talking on a cell phone—even a hands-free one—is a cognitive distraction.

Can you eat while driving in Colorado?

In most cases, nothing. There is no law that specifically states that you cannot eat while driving in this state. However, even legal distractions (like eating or adjusting the radio) can significantly increase your risk of being in an accident or driving erratically.

Can I wear headphones while driving in Colorado?

Seventeen states prohibit or restrict driving with headphones. These states include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington.

Can you drive and talk on the phone in Colorado?

Can you talk on a cell phone and drive in Colorado? Adult drivers– Yes, 18 and over are permitted to use their handheld phone for calls while driving. Headsets are allowed in 1 ear for phone calls. Remember listing to music on your headphones is not legal while driving.

What is Florida law on cell phones while driving?

Florida's Ban on Texting While Driving Law makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while manually using a cell phone or other wireless communications device to email, text, or instant message. The law applies to reading and sending messages or data.

Does Florida have hands-free law?

Florida's texting and driving law states that drivers can make phone calls, check weather or traffic alerts, and even use phones for navigation unless driving through a school or construction zone. These are considered “hands-free” spaces where any phone activity while driving is illegal.

Can you use a hands-free kit while driving?

Any hands-free devices should be fully set up before you drive, otherwise it is illegal. The police still have the power to stop you if they believe you have been distracted by using a mobile phone while driving, even if it's fully hands-free!

Can you use Bluetooth hands-free when driving?

The government have explained that you can take calls, as long as you remain hands free at all times. Hands free includes: a Bluetooth headset. voice command.

Cell Phone Driving Laws by State 2022 - worldpopulationreview.com

Indiana and South Dakota’s laws become effective July 1, 2020; Virginia’s law becomes effective on January 1, 2021; Arizona will issue warnings until 2021 when it will issue tickets). Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia also ban use of cellphones by school bus drivers. Text messaging is banned for all drivers in 48 states and the District of Columbia.

Mobile Phone Restrictions Fact Sheet | FMCSA

A new FMCSA rule restricts the use of all hand-held mobile devices by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). This rulemaking restricts a CMV driver from holding a mobile device to make a call, or dialing by pressing more than a single button. CMV drivers who use a mobile phone while driving can only use a hands-free phone located in close proximity.Research commissioned by FMCSA shows ...

Is It Illegal to Talk on the Phone While Driving?

The News Wheel is a digital auto magazine providing readers with a fresh perspective on the latest car news. We’re located in the heart of America (Dayton, Ohio) and our goal is to deliver an ...

Restrictions on Cell Phone Use while Driving in the United States

Corpus Christi: 361-254-7873; Dallas : 214-646-3953; Nationwide Toll Free: 866-517-5659

U.S. DOT Rule Prohibits Use of Cell Phones by Commercial Drivers

Starting on Jan. 3, drivers of commercial vehicles will face fines of $2,750 for using their cell phones while driving, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced on Nov. 23. The rule comes from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration divisions and is the latest attempt by the federal government to end distracted driving.

What is the primary enforcement of cell phone laws?

Regulatory laws. The laws regulating driving (or distracted driving) may be subject to primary enforcement or secondary enforcement by state, county or local authorities. All State-level cell phone use laws in the United States are of the primary enforcement type—meaning an officer may cite a driver for using a hand-held cell phone without any ...

How many states have banned cell phones?

Thirty-six states and Washington, D.C. ban all cell phone use by newer drivers, while 19 states and Washington, D.C., prohibit any cell phone use by school bus drivers if children are present.

What states have cell phone bans?

Several states (Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma) have prohibited localities from enacting their own laws regarding cell phone use.

When will Michigan allow cell phone use?

Until February 2020, handheld cell phone use was allowed as long as one hand was on the wheel at all times. Since February 2020, law allows one tap to activate voice communication, and use of navigational touch screens are allowed if mounted on windshield or dashboard. Michigan.

What is the website for distracted driving?

The U.S. Department of Transportation has established an official website to combat distracted driving, Distraction.gov.

How long can a driver be in jail for texting?

If proven a driver was "texting" during a traffic fatality, it is deemed a Class C felony, and the driver can be put into prison for up to 10 years.

When did the new phone law come into effect?

Effective since June 13, 2016. Until February 2020, handheld cell phone use was allowed as long as one hand was on the wheel at all times. Since February 2020, law allows one tap to activate voice communication, and use of navigational touch screens are allowed if mounted on windshield or dashboard.

How many car accidents are caused by texting?

Within the United States, 25% of car accidents are caused as a result of texting and driving and over 330,000 injuries are a result of this type of distracted driving. One problem why so many car accidents happen is 30% of drivers between the ages of 20 and 31 say that texting and driving have no impact on their driving skills.

Which state has the fourth highest rate of cell phone crashes?

The National Safety Council, a non-profit who is a leader in trying to prevent car accidents, reported that Florida in recent years has had the fourth-highest rate for fatal car crashes involving cell phones.

Is cell phone use banned in all states?

According to the NCSL, currently, no state has banned cell phone use for every single driver in their states. However, depending on the state, there are bans for certain groups (such as teen drivers and school bus drivers).

Is there a cell phone ban in Florida?

In Florida, there is no cell phone use ban currently implemented. However, it is against the law to text and drive. This restriction applies to all drivers. The Florida Legislature made this ban effective in October 2013:

Is texting and driving a secondary offense in Florida?

Florida is one of only four states that still consider texting and driving a secondary offense. This means that a police officer may give you a ticket, but must stop you for another reason. Texting and driving currently in the state of Florida is similar to failure to wear a seatbelt, which is also a secondary offense. This new law would change texting and driving to a primary offense, giving police officers a reason to pull drivers over.

What are the exceptions to the "talking while driving" rule?

Exceptions to the “talking while driving” rule provided in this statute include making an emergency call or driving on private property. Other exceptions apply to emergency service professionals using a phone while driving an emergency vehicle.

When was flip phone law enacted?

This statute seemed sufficient when it was enacted in 2006, the bygone era of the RAZR and “flip” phones. Smartphones, however, are mobile, hand-held computers capable of extraordinary interactions, far beyond what legislators were thinking about when they banned speaking through a hand-held phone.

What is the California code for texting?

California Vehicle Code §23123.5 was very specific in prohibiting the use of a cellphone while driving “to write, send, or read a text-based communication, unless the electronic wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation to dictate, send, or listen to a text-based communication…” A “text-based” communication is defined by the statute as “including, but not limited to, communications referred to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail.” Sending an email or updating your Facebook status is a violation. Dictating a text or email is not.

What is a handheld wireless telephone?

It states “holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or an electronic wireless communications device unless the wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation, and it is used in that manner while driving.”.

Can you drive with a wireless phone in California?

California Vehicle Code §23123 specifically states that a “person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.” Exceptions to the “talking while driving” rule provided in this statute include making an emergency call or driving on private property. Other exceptions apply to emergency service professionals using a phone while driving an emergency vehicle.

Do police officers check for cellphones?

Police officers are trained to check immediately for cellphone use at the scene of accidents as texting has become a common driving distraction; and the dangers from distracted driving are real.

Is text based communication a violation of the law?

A “text-based” communication is defined by the statute as “including, but not limited to, communications referred to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail.”. Sending an email or updating your Facebook status is a violation. Dictating a text or email is not.

How to Use Your Phone in the Car Safely & Legally

Not every cell phone use case is disallowed under the legislation. As long as you don’t handle your device, there are things you can do with it while on the road.

Consequences of Breaking the Rules

The penalties for distracted driving increase considerably after your first offense. A first ticket will cost $50, while subsequent tickets cost $275 (there are additional court fees in both cases). You will also likely have to pay more for your next motor insurance premium after a distracted driving violation.

Exceptions to the General Rules

There are a number of situations in which the rules on distracted driving apply differently. These include the following:

Staying Out of Trouble on the Road in Minnesota

As cell phones have grown into a bigger and bigger part of our lives, the threat posed by distracted driving has become more pronounced. Following Minnesota’s hands-free driving rules will not only preserve you from unwanted police attention, it will keep you safe as well.

What is the penalty for texting while driving?

The penalty for texting while driving is a summary offense. The fine is $50, not including court costs and other fees. The violation carries no points as a penalty and is not recorded on the driver record for non-commercial drivers. It is recorded on commercial drivers’ records as a non-sanction violation. The law does not authorize the seizure of ...

What percentage of accidents are caused by distracted drivers?

Still, between 20 to 30 percent of all accidents are now caused by distracted drivers. As with other laws, states vary when it comes to the use of a cell phone while driving. If you will be driving out of state, get informed concerning the local law.

How many people died in distracted driving in 2015?

In 2015 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission, 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Every day, roughly 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while behind the wheel. Is communication that important? Certainly not. Still, between 20 to 30 percent of all accidents are now caused by distracted drivers.

What is the law in Pennsylvania for texting?

The Pennsylvania the Department of Motor Vehicle law states that: “No driver shall operate a motor vehicle on a highway or traffic way in this Commonwealth while using an interactive wireless communications device – IWCD (cell phone) to send, read or write a text-based communication while the vehicle is in motion.

When is distracted driving awareness month?

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month: What Does That Mean and How Can You Avoid Accidents?

Can a police officer pull you over for texting while driving?

That is to say, no other traffic offense must be involved for the driver to receive a ticket or citation for texting while driving. The penalty for texting while driving is a summary offense.

Is texting banned on a bus?

The texting ban does not include the use of a GPS device, a system or device that is physically or electronically integrated into the vehicle, or a communications device that is affixed to a mass transit vehicle, bus, or school bus. Therefore, a GPS that is built-in, integrated, or affixed to a vehicle is legal.

How dangerous is distracted driving?

Dangers of Distracted Driving. Distracted driving can lead to a traffic ticket or a serious crash. Distracted drivers were responsible for nearly one of every five crashes in Texas in 2020, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Distracted driving accidents caused the deaths of 364 people and cause 2,200 people to sustain serious ...

Why is it important to be alert when driving?

That can lead to a traffic accident. That is why it is critically important to be alert and focused on driving when behind the wheel. You should pull off the road and stop before you talk on the phone or send a text message.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving involves any activity that takes your eyes of the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mental focus off the task of driving.

Why is texting dangerous?

Texting is an especially dangerous form of distraction because it involves multiple forms of distraction. A driver takes his or her eyes off the road to look at the phone screen and their mind off the task of driving. The distracted driver uses his or her hands to type a text message.

How many people die from distracted driving each year?

Nationwide, about 3,000 people are killed in crashes involving a distracted driver each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Why is it important to be alert when traveling at highway speeds in Texas?

When traveling at highway speeds in Texas, drivers have only seconds to recognize and react to traffic hazards ahead to avoid a collision. Distracted drivers may be slower to recognize changes in traffic such as drivers braking unexpectedly ahead. That can lead to a traffic accident. That is why it is critically important to be alert ...

What happens if you get in a car accident?

A serious car accident can disrupt your life and leave you facing expensive medical bills and financial stress. If the crash was caused by another driver’s negligence, you shouldn’t be stuck with the bills. As you struggle to recover from serious injuries, you may feel overwhelmed.

What age can you drive a handheld device?

Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using handheld devices.

Can you send a text message while driving in Texas?

You cannot send or receive electronic messages while driving in Texas. Drivers with learner's permits are prohibited from using cellphones in the first six months of driving. Using any handheld device in your vehicle in a school zone is illegal. Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using handheld devices.

Is texting while driving illegal in Texas?

Texting while driving is illegal everywhere in Texas, and some cities ban all cellphone use while driving. But using your cellphone while driving is always dangerous because it’s distracted driving.

What is the primary enforcement of cell phone laws?

Regulatory laws. The laws regulating driving (or distracted driving) may be subject to primary enforcement or secondary enforcement by state, county or local authorities. All State-level cell phone use laws in the United States are of the primary enforcement type—meaning an officer may cite a driver for using a hand-held cell phone without any ...

How many states have banned cell phones?

Thirty-six states and Washington, D.C. ban all cell phone use by newer drivers, while 19 states and Washington, D.C., prohibit any cell phone use by school bus drivers if children are present.

What states have cell phone bans?

Several states (Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma) have prohibited localities from enacting their own laws regarding cell phone use.

When will Michigan allow cell phone use?

Until February 2020, handheld cell phone use was allowed as long as one hand was on the wheel at all times. Since February 2020, law allows one tap to activate voice communication, and use of navigational touch screens are allowed if mounted on windshield or dashboard. Michigan.

What is the website for distracted driving?

The U.S. Department of Transportation has established an official website to combat distracted driving, Distraction.gov.

How long can a driver be in jail for texting?

If proven a driver was "texting" during a traffic fatality, it is deemed a Class C felony, and the driver can be put into prison for up to 10 years.

When did the new phone law come into effect?

Effective since June 13, 2016. Until February 2020, handheld cell phone use was allowed as long as one hand was on the wheel at all times. Since February 2020, law allows one tap to activate voice communication, and use of navigational touch screens are allowed if mounted on windshield or dashboard.

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