Driving Safely and Cell Phones Laws

cell phones and driving

 

Using a hand held cell phone and driving is one of the most dangerous threats to driver safety.  There are no national laws against cell phone use, and driving. Each state has specific laws that can be seen in the chart below.  These cell phone laws were last updated September 2010

 

driver safety and cell phones

Laws restricting cell phone use and texting

Alabama

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers age 16 and 17-year-old drivers who have held an intermediate license for fewer than 6 months

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

Texting ban and driver safety drivers age 16 and 17-year-old drivers who have held an intermediate license for fewer than 6 months

primary Enforcement for driver safety

Alaska

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

Texting ban and driver safety all drivers

primary Enforcement for driver safety

Arizona

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

school bus drivers Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

Texting ban and driver safety no

primary Enforcement for driver safety

Arkansas

drivers 18 or older but younger than 21

Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers younger than 18

school bus drivers Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary: texting by all drivers and cell phone use by school bus drivers; secondary: cell phone use by young drivers1

California

all drivers

Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers younger than 18 school and transit bus drivers

Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary: hand held and texting laws; secondary: hands-free cell phone use by young drivers1

Colorado

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers younger than 18

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Connecticut

all drivers

Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers younger than 18

school bus drivers Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Delaware

all drivers (effective 01/02/11)

Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban learner's permit and intermediate license holders

school bus drivers Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers (effective 01/02/11) Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

District of Columbia

all drivers

Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban learner's permit holders

school bus drivers Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety:  primary

Florida

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

no Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety not applicable

Georgia

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers younger than 18

school bus drivers Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Hawaii

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

no Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety not applicable

Idaho

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

no Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety not applicable

Illinois

drivers in construction and school speed zones Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers younger than 19 and learner's permit holders younger than 19

school bus drivers Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Indiana

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers younger than 18

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

drivers younger than 18 Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Iowa

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban learner's permit and intermediate license holders

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary for learner's permit and intermediate license holders; secondary for texting

Kansas

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban learner's permit and intermediate license holders

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Kentucky

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers younger than 18

school bus drivers Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Louisiana

with respect to novice drivers, see footnote2

Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban with respect to novice drivers, see footnote2

school bus drivers Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary2

Maine

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban learner's permit and intermediate license holders

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

learner's permit and intermediate license holders Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Maryland

all drivers (effective 10/01/10)

Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban learner's permit and provisional license holders younger than 18 (effective 10/01/10)

school bus drivers (hand-held ban) (effective 10/01/10) Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers

Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety secondary; primary for texting

Massachusetts

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers younger than 18 (effective 09/30/10)

Bus driver safety all cell phone ban school bus drivers (effective since 4/12/01) and passenger bus drivers (effective 09/30/10)

all drivers (effective 09/30/10) Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Michigan

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

Bus driver safety all cell phone ban no

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Minnesota

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban learner's permit holders and provisional license holders during the first 12 months after licensing

school bus drivers

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Mississippi

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

 No Bus driver safety all cell phone ban   

learner's permit and intermediate license holders Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Missouri

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

drivers 21 and younger Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Montana

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

no Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety not applicable

Nebraska

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban

learner's permit and intermediate license holders younger than 18

No Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety secondary

Nevada

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

no Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety not applicable

New Hampshire

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

New Jersey

all drivers

Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban learner's permit and intermediate license holders

school bus drivers Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

New Mexico

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

no Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety not applicable

New York

all drivers

Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary; secondary for text messaging

North Carolina

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban

drivers younger than 18

school bus drivers Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

North Dakota

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

no Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety not applicable

Ohio

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

no Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety not applicable

Oklahoma

learner's permit and intermediate license holders (effective 11/01/10)

Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

school bus drivers and public transit drivers (effective 11/01/10)

Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

learner's permit holders, intermediate license holders, school bus drivers and public transit drivers (effective 11/01/10) Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary (effective 11/01/10)

Oregon

all drivers

Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers younger than 18

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers

Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Pennsylvania

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

no Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety not applicable

Rhode Island

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers younger than 18

Bus driver safety all cell phone ban school bus drivers

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

South Carolina

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

no Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety not applicable

South Dakota

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

no Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety not applicable

Tennessee

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban learner's permit and intermediate license holders

school bus drivers Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Texas

drivers in school crossing zones

Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban intermediate license holders for the first twelve months

bus drivers when a passenger 17 and younger is present Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

Texting ban and driver safety bus drivers when a passenger 17 and younger is present; intermediate license holders for first twelve months; drivers in school crossing zones

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Utah

all drivers

Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary for texting; secondary for talking on a hand-held cell phone

Vermont

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers younger than 18

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Virginia

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers younger than 18

school bus drivers Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety secondary; primary for school bus drivers

Washington

all drivers

Hand-held ban

learner's permit and intermediate license holders Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

West Virginia

no Hand-held ban

Young driver safety all cell phone ban drivers younger than 18 who hold either a learner's permit or an intermediate license

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

drivers younger than 18 who hold either a learner's permit or an intermediate license Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary

Wisconsin

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers (effective 12/01/10) Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary (effective 12/01/10)

Wyoming

no Hand-held ban

no Young driver safety all cell phone ban

no Bus driver safety all cell phone ban

all drivers Texting ban and driver safety

Enforcement for driver safety primary



1The laws in Arkansas and California prohibit police from stopping a vehicle to determine if a driver is driving safety is in compliance with the law. Clearly, that language prohibits the use of checkpoints to enforce the law, but it has been interpreted as the functional equivalent of secondary provisions that typically state the officer may not stop someone suspected of a violation unless there is other, independent, cause for a stop.

2In Louisiana, all learner's permit holders, irrespective of age, and all intermediate license holders are prohibited from driving while using a hand-held cell phone and all drivers younger than 18 are prohibited from using any cell phone. Effective April 1, 2010 all drivers, irrespective of age, issued a first driver’s license will be prohibited from using a cell phone for one year. The cell phone ban is secondary for novice drivers age 18 and older.

3In Oklahoma, learner's permit and intermediate license holders are banned from using a hand-held electronic device while operating a motor vehicle for non-life-threatening emergency purposes.

driver safety state by state cell phone laws

More by this Author


What do you think can be done to create more social awareness to make driving safe? 7 comments

Shannon Paulk 6 years ago

Texting and driving is so dangerous! I'm always worried about drivers when I see them texting while driving on my way to work. Luckily, such things as extended warranties are available to keep my car covered for possible repair costs from an accident, and for a low cost too. But you can't help but worry sometimes!


getgoingcanada 6 years ago

Good info on state laws. How often do you have to update?


azure_sky profile image

azure_sky 5 years ago from Somewhere on the Beach, if I am lucky :)

Oh...so I CAN talk on my speaker phone in school zones?? I never clearly understood this law, but ALWAYS have hung up my phone when entering one of these zones...LOL...and I will probably continue to do so, as old habits, at least for me, are hard to break :)

I voted this Up and Useful, as I will check your hub when I am driving out of the State of Texas!! Thanks again for this useful information!

On a side note....I have never understood why people have to actually "hold" their cell phone in their hand to begin with, especially while driving ALONE. Don't all cell phones have a speaker button?


riskstar 5 years ago

Unlocked dual sim mobile cell phones are very popular around the world. http://unlocked-dual-sim-mobile-cell-phone.places4...


sunnymarie profile image

sunnymarie 5 years ago

Great and useful information, thanks for sharing


Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 5 years ago from Texas, USA

Good reference source thanks for sharing this information.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago Author

If each of us drives just a bit safer, just a bit more conscientious, and just a bit more aware of the consequences, we would probably be amazed at how accidents would be reduced.

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