[box type="shadow"]Drivers will not be able to use hand-held phones while temporarily stopped due to traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays, but they will be able to use them after moving the vehicle to the side of, or off, the highway and stopping in a safe location. Drivers who violate the new ban will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification for multiple offenses.[/box]
Currently, there are no national laws banning texting while driving for all U.S. citizens. However, there is a ban on federal employees texting while driving on official business, in federally owned cars or while using federally owned devices. Some police and other law enforcement officials are exempt from the ban.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides guidelines to help states enact texting while driving bans of their own. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration banned commercial truck drivers and bus drivers texting while driving their big rigs in January 2010.
State Texting While Driving Bans for All Drivers
The following states have bans on texting while driving for all drivers: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, according to a map published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
More states will likely follow suit since the NHTSA has enacted guidelines to assist states in banning texting while driving. Check your local and state ordinances for current information on your area.
Novice Driver Texting While Driving Bans
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the following nine states have bans on texting for drivers with learner’s permits, intermediate licenses, and/or drivers under 18: Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas and West Virginia. Enforcement policies differ from state to state, so check your local and state ordinances for accurate and current information.[/box]