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The Hands Free Law For Cell Phones And Your State

Aug 26, 2008
If you are a cell phone user, and who isn't nowadays, you are undoubtedly aware of the hands free law concerning mobile phones. What you may be unclear about is just how these new cell phone laws directly impact you.

Five states, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Washington state currently have enacted laws that prohibit talking on handheld cellular phones while driving. Washington DC, and the Virgin Islands currently have the same laws enacted, and with the exception of Washington State, these laws are considered primary enforcement. This means that an officer can ticket a driver for using a wireless phone while driving whether or not any other traffic offenses have taken place. In other words, you can be pulled over and ticketed just for talking on your phone while driving, which is why most people would rather be on the safe side and have purchased or are planning on purchasing hands free cell phone accessories.

In terms of text messaging, there are four states, Alaska, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Washington State that have enacted a text messaging ban for all drivers, regardless of age. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia, or Washington DC, restrict cell phone use of all types by novice, or under aged drivers. In some cities, such as Detroit and Phoenix have individual cell phone laws, while other states have preemptive laws prohibiting local jurisdictions from passing such laws.

Other states, like New Hampshire and Utah consider cellphone us to be under the umbrella of general distracted driving issues. In Utah, talking on a cell phone while driving is only considered to be an offense if the driver is also committing another violation. The good news is that no state completely restricts mobile phone usage. Some states currently have no restrictions at all on cellular phone use, including Indiana. This is likely to change though, as more and more local governments recognize the dangers of hand held wireless phone usage.

Remember that these laws may have changed since this information was updated, so be sure to check with your individual state. Even if your state does not have a hands free law in place, you should consider your own safety and that of your passengers and other drivers and purchase a hands free cell phone accessory. They are convenient, easy to use, and might just save your life.
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