• Tom Manges

Indiana Bans Holding Cell Phone While Driving

As of July 1, 2020, Indiana requires you to PUT THAT CELL PHONE DOWN while driving. The new law replaces the anti-texting statute that was passed in 2011 but was basically unenforceable. The new law was passed in response to the thousands of crashes caused by distracted driving in Indiana. It had strong bipartisan support, including from Governor Eric Holcomb.

The new law restricts a driver from holding a mobile device while the car is moving. A phone may be mounted on the dashboard or placed somewhere else in the vehicle so that Bluetooth technology can be used.

For years lawmakers have struggled to keep up with technology. Smart phones evolved so quickly, with so many features other than texting, that the “don’t text and drive” law was “old hat” almost right away. In 2017 the Indiana banned drivers under 21 from using any “telecommunications device” while driving. But this didn’t cover older drivers, and tragic crashes caused by distracted driving didn’t stop.

The new “no hands” law applies to all drivers. Violations can result in a fine or points on your license. A person may still hold a phone to call 911 to report a bona fide emergency.

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