United States Cell Phone Legislation by State
Canada Cell Phone Legislation by Province
Every day, more cities, counties, states and provinces are reviewing or enacting hands-free legislation. How can you stay connected and comply with the law? Take a look at the Parrot way:
Have you ever tried to rig your own hands-free device while driving, positioning your phone in just the right place so you can still hear on the speaker phone and have it close enough to your face?
Of course there’s a better way. Whatever route you choose, remember to keep your hands on the wheel while staying in touch.
Developer of hands-free devices for mobile phones sees dangers in hands-on texting and e-mailing
Parrot, a global developer of hands-free devices for mobile phones, today announced its support for U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s Distracted Drivers Summit, scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 1. The Summit is intended to address the dangers of mobile phone text-messaging, e-mailing and other distractions behind the wheel.
Parrot noted that a 2008 study by Nationwide Insurance found 81 percent of cell phone owners acknowledged talking on phones while driving and that this trend is showing no signs of changing. Moreover, the study discovered that 20 percent of drivers in the United States send text messages while operating a car or truck.
“Under no circumstances should drivers be texting, sending e-mails, instant messaging or otherwise taking their hands off the wheel when on the road,” Parrot’s North American Director of Marketing & Communications, Kelly Zachos, asserted. “Parrot recommends that drivers either pull off the road when possible or use a hands-free, voice-activated system for mobile phone dialing and conversations. Research shows that it’s our eyeballs that need to be alert, and diverting visual attention from the road can lead to split-second disaster.”
Parrot, based in Paris, declared that the company is supportive of increasing awareness of the dangers that mobile phones can present to motorists when they use their hands to operate devices while in motion and is working to help improve safety for all drivers.
Parrot is among the global leaders in developing hands-free wireless devices for mobile phones that enable drivers to place and answer calls through a voice-activated system.
“We recognized both the importance and the potential hazards of hand-held mobile phones early on,” said Zachos, “and have been working for 15 years to develop affordable, simple-to-use kits that make hands-free communication easy for drivers of cars, trucks, motorcycles and scooters.”
During the Distracted Drivers Summit, senior transportation officials, elected officials, safety advocates, law enforcement representatives and academics will meet in Washington, D.C. to develop recommendations on ways to prevents distracted driving.
Parrot, a global leader in wireless devices for mobile phones, stands on the cutting edge of innovation. The company was founded in 1994 by Henri Seydoux as part of his determination to drive the inevitable breakthrough of mobile phones into everyday life by creating high-quality, user-friendly wireless devices for easy living. Parrot has developed the most extensive range of hands-free systems on the market for cars, motorbikes and scooters, including wireless multimedia products geared towards audiovisual applications. In 2008, Parrot launched a new prestige line of high-end products bearing the hallmark of renowned artists. Parrot, headquartered in Paris, currently employs 450 people worldwide and generates 85% of its sales overseas.
Parrot is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris since 2006.
Euronext Paris – Eurolist C: FR0004038263 – PARRO
“Ontario motorists will likely have until fall before it becomes illegal to use hand-held cellphones and other electronic devices like BlackBerrys and global positioning systems while at the wheel.
The Legislature unanimously passed the government’s law against “distracted driving” yesterday but it will take several months before associated regulations are drawn up and a public education campaign launched, said Transportation Minister Jim Bradley.
Fines will be up to $500, which drivers can avoid by using a cellphone headset and voice dialing.”
Current state cell phone driving law highlights include the following:
Handheld Cell Phone Bans: 5 states (California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Washington), the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have enacted cell phone laws prohibiting driving while talking on handheld cell phones. With the exception of Washington State, these laws are all primary enforcement—an officer may ticket a driver for using a handheld cell phone while driving without any other traffic offense taking place.
Text Messaging: Text messaging is banned for all drivers in 7 states (Alaska, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Washington) and the District of Columbia. In addition, novice drivers are banned from texting in 9 states (Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia) and school bus drivers are banned from text messaging in 4 states (Arkansas, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia).
Novice Drivers: 18 states and the District of Columbia restrict all cell phone use by novice drivers.
School Bus Drivers: In 17 states and the District of Columbia, school bus drivers are prohibited from all cell phone use when passengers are present, except for in emergencies.
Preemption Laws: The law in 6 states (Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) specifically authorizes a locality to ban cellphone use. Localities in other states may not need specific statutory authority to ban cellphones. Localities that have enacted restrictions on cellphone use include: Chicago, IL; Brookline, MA; Detroit, MI; Santa Fe, NM; Brooklyn, North Olmstead and Walton Hills, OH; Conshohocken, Lebanon and West Conshohocken, PA; and Waupaca County, WI.
Localities are prohibited from banning cellphone use in 8 states (Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah).
Some states, such as Utah and New Hampshire, treat cell phone use as a larger distracted driving issue.
Utah considers speaking on a cellphone to be an offense only if a driver is also committing some other moving violation (other than speeding).2
No state completely bans all types of cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for all drivers.
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P – indicates Primary
S – indicates Secondary offense
1 – Dealt with as a distracted driving issue; New Hampshire enacted a comprehensive distracted driving law.
2 – Utah’s law defines careless driving as committing a moving violation (other than speeding) while distracted by use of a hand-held cellphone or other activities not related to driving.
3 - An officer in California can stop a person, regardless of age, holding a cellphone and talking or texting on it, but they may not use checkpoints to enforce the all cell ban for drivers younger than 18.
4 – During the 2008 legislative session, Louisiana passed 3 different cellphone laws addressing teen drivers. The governor signed all three. As of September 12, 2008, it is unclear whether both hand-held and hands-free phone use is prohibited, or whether only hand-held phone use is banned. All 3 laws prohibit text messaging. A 4th cell phone law prohibits cellphone use by school bus drivers.
5 – Effective 01/01/09
All of the information on this page has been compiled using these sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA.org sources obtained from: Sources: American Automobile Association (AAA), Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and State Highway Safety Offices. Most recently reviewed February, 2008.) , National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This summary is for general information only and is not intended as a substitute for checking with the state you are driving in to ensure accurate updates and full compliance with the law. For more information through links to websites containing or describing state legislation on cell phone restrictions while driving, click on “online resources.”