The prevalence of cellular phones, new research, and publicized crashes has started many debates related to the role cell phones play in driver distraction. This chart details state cellular phone use and texting while driving laws.
- Hand-held Cell Phone Use Ban: 14 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.
- All Cell Phone ban: No state bans all cell phone use for all drivers, but 37 states and D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice or teen drivers, and 20 states and D.C. prohibit any cell phone use for school bus drivers.
- Text Messaging ban: 45 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers.
- 3 states prohibit text messaging by novice or teen drivers.
- 3 states restrict school bus drivers from texting.
Source: Governor’s Highway Safety Administration.
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Source: Source Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2013.
Governor’s Highway Safety Association
.* Utah considers speaking on a cell phone, without a hands-free device, to be an offense only if a driver is also committing some other moving violation (other than speeding).
** Maine has a law that makes driving while distracted a traffic infraction. 29-A M.R.S.A. Sec. 2117.
*** Listed as a part of contributing factors