States With Tough Cellphone Laws

cellphone-lawsThink twice before answering that cell phone if it rings while you’re driving! Many states now enforce restrictions on cell phone use while you are operating a motor vehicle. You should know the laws in your state in order to avoid being sanctioned for unlawfully using your cell phone, or worse yet, causing an accident during a moment of inattentiveness while chatting on the phone.

Now, not every state has the same laws. Only five states ban the use of handheld cell phones altogether while driving, Washington, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. Of these, Washington law only allows a patrolman to issue a citation for cell phone use as a secondary offense. This means that they cannot cite you ONLY for using your cell phone, but must have pulled you over for another citable reason first. The other four states can cite cell phone usage as a primary offense, and the tickets are costly.

Many drivers get around the cell phone bans by simply using a hands-free phone device that allows them to talk on the phone while keeping both hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, which is the intent of the laws restricting phone use. Of course, this does not allow for text-messaging, but does allow conversations that could otherwise result in a traffic fine. If you are going to use your cell phone while driving, this hands-free option may be the best in regards to both safety and avoiding expensive traffic violations.

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