Texting while driving, also called texting and driving, is the act of composing, sending, reading text messages, email, or making similar use of the web on a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle. Texting while driving is considered extremely dangerous by many people, including authorities, and in some places have either been outlawed or restricted. As a form of distracted driving, texting while driving significantly increases the chances that a driver will be involved in a motor vehicle accident.
According to a research by NHTSA, an estimated 660,000 drivers use their phones during daytime driving driving. According to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation, drivers between the ages of 20 to 29 are the most likely to text while driving. The International Telecommunication Union states that "texting, making calls, and other interaction with in-vehicle information and communication systems while driving is a serious source of driver distraction and increases the risk of traffic accidents".
The scientific literature on the dangers of driving while sending a text message from a mobile phone, or driving while texting, is limited but growing. A systematic review study at the Queensland University of Technology Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety-Queensland CARRS-Q found that visual-manual interactions such as texting and browsing have a detrimental effect on a number of safety-critical driving measures. Specifically, negative effects were seen in detecting and responding correctly to road signs, detecting hazards, time spent with eyes off the road, and (only for sending text messages) lateral position. Mean speed, speed variability, lateral position when receiving text messages, and following distance showed no difference. A separate, yet unreleased simulation study at the University of Utah found a sixfold increase in distraction-related crashes when texting.
The low number of scientific studies may be indicative of a general assumption that if talking on a mobile phone increases risk, then texting also increases risk, and probably more so. 89% of U.S. adults think that text messaging while driving is "distracting, dangerous and should be outlawed". The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released polling data that show that 87% of people consider texting and e-mailing while driving a "very serious" safety threat, almost equivalent to the 90% of those polled who consider drunk driving a threat.
Despite the acknowledgement of the dangers of texting behind the wheel, about half of drivers 16 to 24 say they have texted while driving, compared with 22 percent of drivers 35 to 44. A survey of more than 90 teens from more than 26 high schools throughout the United States conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance Group in 2006 showed that 46% of students consider texting to be either "very" or "extremely" distracting. An American Automobile Association study showed that 34% of teens (age 16–17) admitted to being distracted behind the wheel because of texting and 40% of American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. A study involving commercial vehicle operators conducted in September 2009 concluded that though incidence of texting within their data set was low, texting while driving increased the risk of accident significantly.
Texting while driving received greater attention in the late 2000s, corresponding to a rise in the number of text messages being sent. The 2008 Will Smith movie Seven Pounds deals with Smith's character committing suicide in order to donate his organs to help save the lives of seven people to make up for the seven people he killed in a car accident because he was receiving a text message while he was driving. Texting while driving attracted interest in the media after several highly publicized car crashes were caused by texting drivers, including a May 2009 incident involving a Boston trolley car driver who crashed while texting his girlfriend. Texting was blamed in the 2008 Chatsworth train collision which killed 25 passengers. Investigations revealed that the engineer of that train had sent 45 text messages while operating. Despite these incidents, texting was still on the rise.
A July 2010 Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll found 25% of New Jersey voters admitted to sending a text while driving, which was an increase from 15% in 2008. This increase could be attributed to drivers over the age of 30 sending text messages. More than 35% of New Jersey drivers aged 30 to 45 and 17% of drivers over 45 admitted to having sent a text message while driving in the last year, an increase of 5–10% from 2008. Several studies have attempted to compare the dangers of texting while driving with driving under the influence. One such study was conducted by Car and Driver magazine in June 2009. The study, carried out at the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport in Oscoda, Michigan, used two drivers in real cars and measured reaction times to the onset of light on the windshield. The study compared the reaction times and distances of the subjects while reading a text message, replying to the text message, and impaired. The study showed that at 35 mph (56 km/h), reading a text message increased the reaction time the most, 0.12 and 0.87 seconds. Impaired driving at the same speed resulted in an increase of 0.01 and 0.07 seconds. In terms of stopping distances these times were estimated to mean:
On Sept. 29, 2010, the insurance industry's Highway Loss Data Institute released research purporting to show that texting-while-driving bans in four states failed to reduce crashes and may instead have contributed to an increase in road crashes. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called the study "completely misleading".
In March 2012 the UK's Institute of Advanced Motorists published a study which claimed that using smartphones for social networking while driving is more dangerous than drink-driving or being high on cannabis. In 2013, based on the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System Survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control in the US, nearly half of all male and female respondents aged 16 to 19 reported they texted while driving.
In 2013 the National Safety Council estimated there were about 1.4 million crashes in the US involving cell phone use. Their model predicted text messaging was involved in 6-16% of all car accidents in the US. In 2010, texting while driving among young drivers was named a disease burden and ranked 8th overall in the global years of life lost (YLL). The premature mortality of young drivers who crash as a result of distracted driving has a greater effect on YLL than most diseases do.
Research by the Transport Research Laboratory showed that texting while driving slowed a driver's reaction time more so than drinking alcohol or using drugs. Driver's reaction times decreased by 46% while making a call, 37% when texting and driving, and 27% during hands-free calls. Those who were drinking and driving at the limit of 80 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, reaction times slowed by 13% and 21% for those under the influence of cannabis.
In November 2014, Sawyer et al., from the University of Central Florida and the US Air Force Research Laboratory, published the results of comparative study in a driving simulator. Subjects were asked to use either Google Glass or a smartphone-based messaging interface and were then interrupted with an emergency event. The Glass-delivered messages served to moderate but did not eliminate distracting cognitive demands. A potential passive cost to drivers merely wearing the Glass was also observed. Messaging using either device impaired driving as compared to driving without multi-tasking.
In October 2016, Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Aceable Driving published a study showing that teenagers are more likely to witness their parents or legal guardians driving distracted than their friends and peers. The study also suggested that texting and driving bans are somewhat effective. In Austin, Texas, where a hands-free-driving ordinance prohibiting the use of electronic hand-held devices while operating a vehicle or bicycle has been in place since 2015, 41% of teens reported that they never witnessed their parents or guardians driving distracted. In Houston, Texas, which had no ban on hand-held devices during the time of the study, only 23% of teens said the same.
On July 27, 2009, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute released preliminary findings of their study of driver distraction in commercial vehicles. Several naturalistic driving studies, of long-haul trucks as well as lighter vehicles driving six million combined miles, used video cameras to observe the drivers and road. Researchers observed 4,452 "safety-critical" events, which includes crashes, near crashes, safety-critical events, and lane deviations. 81% of the "safety-critical" events involved some type of driver distraction. Text messaging had the greatest relative risk, with drivers of heavy vehicles or trucks being more than 23 times more likely to experience a safety-critical event when texting. The study found that drivers typically take their eyes off the forward roadway for an average of four out of six seconds when texting, and an average of 4.6 out of the six seconds surrounding safety-critical events. The study revealed that when traveling at 55 miles per hour (89 km/h), a driver texting for 6 seconds is looking at the phone for 4.6 seconds of that time and travels the distance of a football field without their eyes on the road. Some of VTTI's conclusions from this study included that "texting should be banned in moving vehicles for all drivers", and that "all cell phone use should be banned for newly licensed teen drivers". The results of the study are listed in the table below.
|Cell phone task||Risk of crash or near event crash|
|Light Vehicle Dialing||2.8 times as high as non‐distracted driving|
|Light Vehicle Talking/Listening||1.3 times as high as non‐distracted driving|
|Light Vehicle Reaching for object (i.e. electronic device...)||1.4 times as high as non‐distracted driving|
|Heavy Vehicles/Trucks Dialing||5.9 times as high as non‐distracted driving|
|Heavy Vehicles/Trucks Talking/Listening||1.0 times as high as non‐distracted driving|
|Heavy Vehicles/Trucks Use/Reach for electronic device||6.7 times as high as non‐distracted driving|
|Heavy Vehicles/Trucks Text messaging||23.2 times as high as non‐distracted driving|
A 2010 experiment with Car and Driver magazine editor Eddie Alterman, which took place at a deserted air strip, showed that texting while driving had a worse impact on safety than driving while intoxicated. The Institute of Industrial Engineers concluded that drivers are 20 times more likely to be involved in an crash while texting and driving as opposed to driving while intoxicated.
While legally drunk, Alterman's stopping distance from 70 mph (110 km/h) increased by 4 feet (1.2 m); by contrast, reading an e-mail added 36 feet (11 m), and sending a text added 70 feet (21 m). While celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey have campaigned against texting while driving, there are reports that the message has not been getting through. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles also seeks to bring awareness to the issue and has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
In 2011 Shutko and Tijerina reviewed large naturalistic studies on cars (Dingus and Klauer, 2008; Klauer et al., 2006; Young and Schreiner, 2009), heavy good vehicles (Olsen at el, 2008) and commercial vehicles and buses (Hickman et al., 2010) and in field operational tests (Sayer et al., 2005, 2007), and concluded:
The popularity of mobile devices has some unintended and even dangerous consequences. The use of mobile devices is linked to a significant increase in distracted driving, resulting in injury and even loss of life.
A number of countries ban all cell phone use while driving (talking and texting).
The laws are much the same for all states and territories in Australia. The driver of a vehicle (except an emergency vehicle, taxi or police vehicle) must not use a mobile phone while the vehicle is moving, or is stationary but not parked, unless the driver is exempt from this rule under another law of this jurisdiction. The law does not apply if the phone is in a secured fixed mounting that is positioned in such a way that the driver does not have to take their eyes off the road. The law also does not apply if the driver is using a hands free device. In some locations, provisional or learner drivers are banned from all forms of mobile phone usage while they are in control of a vehicle. Apart from mobile phones, drivers should not appear to be distracted by anything else; this includes GPS devices and PDAs.
All provinces and the Northwest Territories have banned both talking on hand-held phones and texting while driving. The country's other two territories, Nunavut, and Yukon, have yet to enact bans.
Any use of a mobile phone is forbidden as long as the vehicle's engine is running. This does however not apply to hand-free devices, provided that the driver does not become distracted. In 2014 a higher court overturned a ruling of a lower court and ruled that the use of a mobile phone is allowed while in traffic, if it occurs while the vehicle is stopped and a start-stop system has turned the engine off.
Any use of a mobile phone is forbidden if the vehicle is moving. This does not apply, however, to hands-free devices.
In 2009, the New Zealand Government introduced new clauses to its Land Transport (Road User) Rule, which ban any use of mobile phones while driving, except for emergency calling to 111 or *555 (only if unsafe or impracticable to stop the vehicle to make the call).
The Government of Sweden, as of 22 December 2012, has stated that texting while driving is not an offence that can lead to a ban, but that it is looking to clarify the Highway Code to include it under reckless driving. In 2013, Sweden outlawed mobile telephone activities if it affects driving in a negative way.
The use of mobiles while driving is prohibited and offenders can also expect to have demerit points added to their record. In one instance a UAE minister was himself given a fine for using his mobile phone while driving.
Any use of a hand-held mobile phone or similar device while driving, or supervising a learner driver, is illegal. This includes when stopped at traffic lights. The only exceptions are emergency calls to 999 or 112.
On October 1, 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced President Barack Obama's signing of an Executive Order directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging while driving government-owned vehicles, among other activities. According to Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood, “This order sends a very clear signal to the American public that distracted driving is dangerous and unacceptable. It shows that the federal government is leading by example." As a part of a larger move to combat distracted driving, the DOT and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched the public information website distraction.gov. In addition, a petition has been created on the White House petitions site, We the People, to ask the Obama administration to encourage all states that have not done so to create laws that ban texting and driving.
On January 26, 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a federal ban on texting while driving by truckers and bus drivers.
|Alabama||August 1, 2012||Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers. Ban on texting for all drivers.||Penalties include a $25 fine for the first offense, increasing to $50 and $75 and two points on the driver's license.|||
|Alaska||September 1, 2008
May 11, 2012
|House Bill 8 prohibits drivers from using electronic devices with a visual display (e.g. televisions or computers) while driving. The law does not specify cell phones, though it can be interpreted this way, and is seen as a ban on texting and driving. HB 255 was signed into law 11 May 2012 and specifically targets "cell phone texting". The previous 2008 HB 8 and 2012 HB 255 laws do provide for exceptions, such a caller ID usage while making a voice phone call and using GPS devices.||Alaska's anti-texting laws are considered “primary” laws, which means that an officer can pull one over for an offense without having witnessed another violation. Anyone that violates this law (depending on the circumstances) would only be guilty of a misdemeanor and if a driver is in a crash that results in an injury or death, then they would be charged with a felony.||For the 2008 HB 8, violators are guilty of misdemeanor. If death is caused by violation, violator is guilty of a felony. For the 2012 HB 255, violators are guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor (same as DUI) and can result in a $250 to $500 fine for first-time offenders, but could result in jail time. (Need Citation)|||
2008 HB 8
2012 HB 255
|Arizona||Unknown||Ban on all cell phone use by school bus drivers only||In the cities of Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff the fine for texting while driving is $100 (or $250 if texting is the cause of a crash)||Coconino County (Prescott) bans all handheld electronic devices while driving|||
|Arkansas||October 2009||All drivers, regardless of age or experience, prohibited from sending text messages while driving||Offenders can face fines up to $100.||Known as HB1013 or "Paul's Law." Exempts emergency service providers in the provision of services. A violation of the law is a primary offense, meaning it can be the sole reason for a traffic stop.|||
|California||January 1, 2009||Prohibits use of any handheld electronic device while driving||$20 first offense
$50 each subsequent offense
|Colorado||December 1, 2009||Prohibits sending text messages, email, or tweets while driving||$50 first offense
$100 second offense
|Also prohibits drivers under 18 from talking on a cellphone while driving|||
|Connecticut||June 3, 2010||Use of any handheld device for any purpose other than to report a life-threatening emergency is prohibited||$100 first offense
$150 second offense
$250 third or subsequent offense
|Also prohibits drivers under 18 and school bus drivers carrying passengers from talking on a cellphone while driving|||
|Delaware||January 2, 2011||Hand-held devices illegal for all drivers||$50 first offense
$100 second offense
$200 third or subsequent offense
|Also prohibits drivers under 18 from talking on hands-free cell phones while driving|||
|District of Columbia||Unknown||All handheld cell phone use banned||First time offenders will have their fines suspended, but only if they submit proof of that they have acquired a hands free device. If a driver is from another jurisdiction and are ticket for a cell phone driving infraction, then they may lose their driver's license if they have failed to pay their Washington D.C. ticket. There is a $100 fine for repeat offenders for each violation.||The ban is considered to be a “primary” law, as it does prohibit use of cell phones by bus drivers. A primary law is when an officer can pull you over for an offense without even having to witness another violation, to say that if an officer see you texting he can issue you a citation.|||
|Florida||October 1, 2013||Senate bill SB 52 prohibits drivers in Florida from typing into a virtual keyboard and sending or reading messages. However, a driver can only be charged for the violation if they are cited for another motor vehicle violation.||If officers pull a driver over for another offense and see that the driver was also texting, drivers would be subject to a $30 fine on the first offense. If texting results in a crash, the driver would be assessed six points. Points lead to increased insurance rates.|||
|Georgia||July 1, 2010(Texting)
July 1, 2018(All)
|Prohibits writing, sending, or reading any text-based communication, including via internet; also prohibits drivers under 18 with provisional licenses from talking on cell phones while driving.
Prohibits holding or supporting, with any part of the body, a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device.
|1st conviction – 1 point and $50.00 fine
2nd conviction – 2 points and $100.00 fine
3rd or more convictions – 3 points and $150.00 fine
|The ban is considered to be a “primary” law, as it does prohibit use of cell phones by bus drivers. A primary law is when an officer can pull you over for an offense without even having to witness another violation, to say that if an officer see you texting he can issue you a citation.|||
|Hawaii||July 1, 2013||Illegal to use most electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle||$200 for a first offense||The State of Hawaii does not use a point system, so texting while driving violations will not access any points assessed on a driver's license, and because this penalty is not deemed to be a traffic infraction, it has no effect on one's driving record.|||
|Idaho||July 1, 2012||Illegal for all drivers||Anyone who violates this law will be guilty of an infraction and will not result in any violation point counts as it is as prescribed in section 49-326, of Idaho Code. Additionally a conviction will not be deemed as a moving traffic violation for the purpose of establishing rates of motor vehicle insurance that is charged by a casualty insurer.|||
|Illinois||January 1, 2010||Illegal for all drivers to use handheld devices. Only hands-free devices such as speakerphones, Bluetooth, and headsets are permitted. In addition to the ban on using handheld devices, all cell phone use is prohibited while driving in a school zone, in a construction zone, and all cell phone use is prohibited for novice drivers. Texting is prohibited for all drivers in Illinois.||Violation fines start at $75||This is a Primary Law, which means that the driver can receive a ticket for the violation without other traffic violations taking place (such as speeding).|||
|Indiana||July 1, 2011||All drivers prohibited from reading or sending text messages. Drivers under 18 prohibited from using cell phones for any purpose. Up to $500 fine.||Up to $500 fine.|||
|Iowa||July 1, 2010||Adults are banned from text messaging while driving and teens are prohibited from using handheld electronic devices.||$30 for adults texting while driving and $50 for teens using handheld electronic devices|||
|Kansas||May 24, 2010||Illegal for all drivers this includes to report a current or Report current or ongoing illegal activity to law enforcement; to prevent imminent injury to a person or property; or to relay information between transit or for-hire operator and the operator's dispatcher, in which the device is permanently affixed to the motor vehicle.||$60||Exemptions to the ban includes: (1) A law enforcement officer or emergency service personnel acting within the course and scope of the law enforcement officer's or emergency service personnel's employment; (2) a motor vehicle stopped off the regular traveled portion of the roadway; (3) a person who reads, selects or enters a telephone number or name in a wireless communications device for the purpose of making or receiving a phone call; (4) a person who receives an emergency, traffic or weather alert message; or (5) a person receiving a message related to the operation or navigation of the motor vehicle.|||
|Kentucky||July 15, 2010||House Bill 415 prohibits the following:
||Warnings until January 1, 2011. After that date:
||Drivers 18 and over allowed to read, select and enter phone numbers or names in order to make a call. All drivers allowed to use GPS features and drivers 18 and over allowed to enter data for GPS purposes at all times.|||
|Louisiana||August 15, 2010||SB9 prohibits the following: Text messaging ban for all drivers.||Primary enforcement begins Aug. 15, 2010:
||Drivers under 18 years old may not use wireless devices — including cell phones, text-messaging units and computers — while operating motor vehicles
|Maine||September 26, 2011||Prohibits texting while driving||Fine of $100 for first offense and then increased fines for subsequent offenses.||This is a Primary Law, which means that the driver can receive a ticket for the violation without other traffic violations taking place (such as speeding).|||
|Maryland||July 1, 2009||Prohibits writing or sending text messages as well as using handheld cell phones while operating motor vehicle or while in the travel portion of the roadway.||Fine up to $500||Exception for use of GPS or emergency situations.|||
|Massachusetts||July 6, 2010||Prohibits drivers from sending a text or instant message, use of electronic mail, Internet access, and all of the above on electronic devices including phones, laptops, pagers, or other hand-held devices.||First offense: $100, second offense: $250, and 3rd offense: $500; If one is under 18, 1st offense: $100 fine in addition to a 60-day license suspension, and attend a mandatory "attitude" class. 2nd offense: $250 fine and a 180-day suspension. 3rd offense: $500 fine and a-one year suspension.||GPSs are still allowed. Use of a phone is banned to all people under 18. Once 18, a driver can make hands-free or normal calls. Also, the bill requires anyone over 75 to get a driving test every five years and take a vision test.|||
|Michigan||July 1, 2010||Reading, typing, or sending while vehicle is moving||$100 first offense
$200 each subsequent offense
|Exception for use of GPS or emergency situations.|||
|Minnesota||August 1, 2008||Any form of text messaging while driving is illegal, and is considered a petty misdemeanor statewide.||Up to $300.||Also prohibits drivers under 18 from talking on a cellphone while driving; GPS and cell phone usage still allowed.|||
|Mississippi||2014||Illegal for all drivers||Fines up to $500; or $1,000 if a crash results.|||
|Missouri||August 28, 2016||Text messaging while operating a motor vehicle prohibited for persons under 21 and for commercial vehicle operators.||Points assessed against license||This is a Primary Law, which means that the driver can receive a ticket for the violation without other traffic violations taking place (such as speeding).|||
|Montana||2009-2013||In cities such as Missoula, Bozeman, Helena, Whitefish, Butte-Silver Bow, Hamilton, Great Falls and Billings. It is illegal to text while operating a vehicle.||$50 First offense, $100 second offense, $200 third offense. 2 point moving violation is added onto one's record.|||
|Nebraska||2013/2014||Text messaging is banned for all drivers on Nebraska's roads and highways. Those drivers under the age of 18 who have either a learner's permit or other intermediate licenses are prohibited from using cellphones altogether.||Fines $200–$500 plus 3 points against driver's license.|||
|Nevada||July 1, 2011||Drivers are prohibited from using either a cell phone or other wireless communications device to access or search the Internet, or to type, enter, send, or read any non-voice communication, including text messages, instant messages (IM), or email. Global positioning systems (GPS) are not covered by the law.||Fines of up to $50 for a first offense; $100 for a second offense that occurs within seven years; and $250 for a third offense if this occurs within seven years. Higher fines are imposed on drivers who violate the law in traffic control zones.||Ban does not apply to emergency personnel, or licensed amateur radio operators who are communicating certain public information, employees of public utilities who are responding to emergencies, or drivers who are reporting emergencies or responding to dangerous situations.|||
|New Hampshire||Jan. 1, 2010||Use of handheld devices is illegal for all drivers||$100|||
|New Jersey||March 1, 2008||All drivers are prohibited from using handheld cell phones except if: (1) The operator has reason to fear for his life or safety, or believes that a criminal act may be perpetrated against himself or another person; or (2) The operator is using the telephone to report to appropriate authorities a fire, a traffic accident, a serious road hazard or medical or hazardous materials emergency, or to report the operator of another motor vehicle who is driving in a reckless, careless or otherwise unsafe manner or who appears to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.||$200 to $400 for the first offense, $400 to $600 for the second offense, and up to $800, three points on your license. Possible 90-day suspension of license.||Anyone under the age of 21 who have either a learner's permits or probationary licenses are prohibited from using all cell phones, texting devices and other hand-held or hands-free wireless electronic devices while driving (this includes MP3 players, video games, and similar devices).|||
|New Mexico||Unknown||Illegal for all drivers||$25 for a first offense, then $50.|||
|New York||2009||No person shall operate a motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device while such vehicle is in motion. "Using" shall mean holding a portable electronic device while viewing, taking or transmitting images, playing games, or composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving e-mail, text messages, or other electronic data.||Fine up to $150 plus mandatory $85 surcharge fees. Violation also carries 5 driver violation points. Those who are driving on a permit, junior license or probationary licence will have their license suspended for 120 days on the first offense and one year for subsequent offenses.||Does not apply to (a) the use of a portable electronic device for the sole purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an emergency situation: an emergency response operator; a hospital; a physician's office or health clinic; an ambulance company or corps; a fire department, district or company; or a police department, (b) any of the following persons while in the performance of their official duties: a police officer or peace officer; a member of a fire department, district or company; or the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in section one hundred one of this chapter.|||
|North Carolina||December 1, 2009||Text messaging as well email and internet use is prohibited for all drivers. Drivers under the age of 18 who have a provisional are prohibited from using cell phones while driving, unless they are calling their parents. Operators of school buses are prohibited from using cell phones while driving.||
|North Dakota||August 1, 2011||Text messaging is prohibited for all drivers, and driver under the age of 18 are prohibited from using any electronic communications devices, including cell phones.||$100 fine.|||
|Ohio||August 28, 2012||Illegal for all drivers
||For offenders under 18:
1st offense: $150 fine and 60-day license suspension 2nd offense: $300 fine and 1-year license suspension
For offenders over 18: $150 fine
|The use of any handheld device by drivers under the age of 18 is illegal.|||
|Oklahoma||November 1, 2015||It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on any street or highway within this state while using a hand-held electronic communication device to manually compose, send or read an electronic text message while the motor vehicle is in motion.||Maximum fine of $100. No points on driving record.||Oklahoma State Governor Mary Fallen signed House Bill 1965 on May 5, 2015 making texting while driving illegal in the state. The act went into law on November 1, 2015.|||
|Oregon||January 2010||House Bill 2377 prohibits all drivers from using a mobile communication device while operating a motor vehicle. A mobile communication device is defined as "a text messaging device or a wireless, two-way communication device designed to receive and transmit voice or text communication."
House Bill 2872 prohibits drivers that are under 18 years of age from using any type of mobile communication device such as a cell-phone. This includes text-messaging and does not allow for hands-free operation of a cell-phone. This law applies if one is under 18 and driving with a provisional driver's license, a special student driver permit, or an instruction driver permit.
|Minimum fine of $142.00||HB 2377 exempts use of hands-free devices by all drivers 18 and over; some drivers who use a mobile communications device while driving if the vehicle is necessary for the person's job; and some drivers who use radios (CB-style) while in the scope of their employment.|||
|Pennsylvania||March 8, 2012||Text messaging while driving prohibited for all drivers. There is no statewide limit on cell phone use, but some local ordinances address cell phones and driving.||$50 fine|||
|Rhode Island||2009||Text messaging outlawed for all drivers on Rhode Island roads. Those under the age of 18 prohibited from using cell phones altogether. School bus operators prohibited from using cell phones while driving.||$85 for the first offense, then $100 and then $125.||Considered “primary” laws, which means that an officer can pull one over and issue a citation for the offense without having to witness some other violation.|||
|South Carolina||June 9, 2014||Prohibits driver from writing, sending or reading a text while driving, but can text only if they are legally stopped or are using a hands-free device. Also includes social media & emails.||$25 fine the first offence; $50 fine for subsequent offences||Known as bill S 459, it supersedes at least 19 different city, as well as two county, ordinances on texting. Exception for use of GPS or emergency situations.|||
|South Dakota||2013||All drivers are banned from text messaging while driving. Drivers who are under the age of 18 who have a restricted/learners license are banned from using handheld wireless communications devices. At least nine South Dakota cities have distracted driving ordinances — Rapid City, Huron, Watertown, Brookings, Mitchell, Vermillion, Aberdeen, Box Elder and Sioux Falls.||$100|||
|Tennessee||July 1, 2009||All drivers prohibited from transmitting or reading a written message while vehicle is in motion||Up to $50
Plus court costs not to exceed $10
|Also known as Senate Bill 393.|||
|Texas||September 1, 2017||Texas legislators enforce texting while driving laws and bans.||Anyone who violates this law receives a ticket and faces a misdemeanor charge, also receives a fine between $25 and $99.||Anyone who is responsible for an individual's death or serious injury from texting while driving face a fine up to $4000.|||
|Utah||May 2009||Texting, accessing the internet, manually dialing a number and other similar use of a handheld device is prohibited while driving. Exceptions to this law are talking, using voice commands, and GPS navigation.||First offence: Class C misdemeanor
Second offence: Class B misdemeanor Automatic Class B misdemeanor if the person inflicted serious bodily injury upon another as a proximate result of using a handheld wireless communication device for text messaging or electronic mail communication while operating a moving motor vehicle
|Vermont||October 1, 2014||All "portable electronic device" usage banned for drivers under 18
Handheld electronic devices are banned for all drivers
|First offense: $100 fine + surcharge + 15% = $156 and 2 points on license. Junior Operators (under 18) subject to 30-day suspension.
Second offense (within two years of first): $250 fine + surcharge + 15% = $329, 5 points on license. Junior operators subject to 30-day suspension.
|Virginia||2009||All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. School bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones either handheld or hands-free.||$125–$250||Violations are a primary offense|||
|Washington||2010||Illegal for all drivers||$124, more if an accident results||Text messaging or cell phone use without a hands free device is a primary offense.|||
|West Virginia||Summer 2012||Text messaging and the use of handheld cell phones are illegal for all drivers in West Virginia. Teenagers who have a learner's permits or intermediate licenses are prohibited from using wireless communication devices while driving. School bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while operating the vehicles.||$100 (first offense), then $200, then $300. Three points against the driver's license on the third and subsequent convictions.||West Virginia's texting & handheld cell phone law and 17C-14-15|||
|Wisconsin||December 1, 2010||Illegal for all drivers
The law is primary, meaning police officers can stop motorists suspected of this offense alone.
|First offense: $20–$400 fine and 4 points on license
Second offense: $200–$800 fine
|Signed into Law: May 5, 2010||Wisconsin DOT|
|Wyoming||July 1, 2010||Sending message from any electronic device while driving declared illegal.||$75 for first offense.|||
In 2009, it was reported that some companies, including iZUP, ZoomSafer, Aegis Mobility, and cellcontrol by obdEdge employ systems that place restrictions on cell phone usage based on the phone's GPS signal, data from the car itself or from nearby cellphone towers. Also, companies like TextNoMore offer an opt-in solution that rewards users for activating.
The use of telematics to detect drunk driving and texting while driving has been proposed. A US patent application combining this technology with a usage based insurance product was open for public comment on peer to patent. The insurance product would not bar texting while driving, but would charge drivers who text and drive a higher premium.
In recent years, location-based technologies that detect potential texting while driving situations have been developed for both the Android operating system and the iPhone operating system (iOS). Other technologies have been developed for law enforcement. A search for "no texting while driving" in Google Play or in the Apple App Store will find several applications that promote safer driving, either through blocking texts, auto-responding or by educating drivers to the dangers of texting while driving. Some of these apps are "paired" and require installation of the app on both the parents' phone and the driver's phones. Paired apps allow remote monitoring of a driver's actions.
Android operating system: In addition to Android Auto, there are apps that utilize the GPS and Network Location services of Android mobile phones to estimate the speed that the cell phone is travelling at the time text messages are sent. As noted before, some of these apps are "paired." One example of a paired app is "TextWatcher." The recommended approach for this app is for parents to install the app on their children's Android mobile phone to silently monitor texting, to send alerts when potential texting while driving situations occur, and to counsel phone holders (in this case, teenage drivers) after the fact.
iPhone operating system (iOS): Apple iPhones using iOS 11 or later have a built-in feature called "Do Not Disturb While Driving." This feature is part of the operating system and does not need to be added or downloaded separately. It uses parameters such as motion detection and network connections to detect driving and can be activated in the iPhone's "Do Not Disturb" settings. To find this feature, tap the “Settings” icon, and then scroll down to “Do Not Disturb.” Next, scroll down to “Do Not Disturb While Driving.” Once turned on, it will block incoming text messages while the car is being driven. It will also auto-respond to those texts with a customizable message that lets senders know that a person is driving and can't receive text messages. It can be set to activate in one of three ways: automatically detect driving, activate when connected by Bluetooth to a hands-free device, or it can be set to be activated manually. Paired and non-paired "no texting while driving" apps can also be installed and they are available in the Apple App Store.
Law Enforcement: Over the past few months, various state police forces in Australia have started trial use of cameras that have the ability to pick up errant drivers from more than 500 metres away. Police in Western Australia make use of undercover motorcycles to keep an eye on other motorists and any offence will be recorded on the motorcycle officer's helmet camera. Police in India have become more aggressive on a wide variety of traffic violations and once again, there is a widespread use of cameras.
|deadurl=(help) "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2009-07-30. Cite uses deprecated parameter
|deadurl=(help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Many teens view texting while driving as less risky than drunken driving despite a sustained campaign against texting behind the wheel and research indicating it's as dangerous as drinking and driving, a new survey for State Farm insurance company finds. ... talk show host Oprah Winfrey regularly urges her millions of viewers not to do it,
The 2008 Massachusetts train collision occurred on May 28, 2008, shortly before 6pm, when two westbound MBTA trains collided on the Green Line "D" Branch between Woodland and Waban stations, behind 56 Dorset Road in Newton, Massachusetts. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) originally found the cause of the accident to be due to the operator texting while driving, but the NTSB later found that the operator of the rear train, Terrese Edmonds, had not been using her cell phone at the time of the crash, but rather went into an episode of micro-sleep, causing her to lose awareness of her surroundings and miss potential hazards up ahead. The collision killed Edmonds, and numerous others were injured. Fourteen passengers were taken to area hospitals; one was airlifted. This crash, along with another similar accident a year later, led the NTSB to set higher standards and regulations regarding the use of cell phones while operating a train.Andy Biggs
Andrew Steven Biggs (born November 7, 1958) is an American politician and a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Arizona's 5th congressional district. The district includes most of the East Valley, covering most of Mesa and Chandler and all of Queen Creek and Biggs's hometown of Gilbert.
Previously, he was a member of the Arizona Senate representing the 12th District from 2011 to 2017 (numbered as the 22nd District from 2011 to 2013) and a member of the Arizona House of Representatives representing the 22nd District from 2003 to 2011. He was President of the Arizona Senate from 2013 to 2017.Chapter 3 (House of Cards)
"Chapter 3" (or "Episode 103") is the third episode of the first season of the American political thriller drama series House of Cards. It premiered on February 1, 2013, when it was released along with the rest of the first season on the American streaming service Netflix.Courtney Combs
Courtney Combs was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, representing the 54th District since his appointment in 2004. He was the Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee. He is a member of the Republican Party.Cow (public service announcement)
Cow, also titled Only Stwpd Cowz Txt N Drive, is a 30-minute YouTube public information film (PIF) directed by Peter Watkins-Hughes with assistance from Gwent Police and Tredegar Comprehensive School. The August 2009 film was a co-production by Gwent Police and Tred Films, with special effects by Zipline Creative Limited. The film features original music by Stuart Fox, a composer and sound designer from Gloucester UK. A previous film, "Lucky Luke," was intended to warn about the dangers of joyriding; "Cow" was intended to be a sequel of sorts.The film, using local drama students as actors, tells the story of 17-year-old Cassie "Cow" Cowan (Jenny Davies), who texts and drives and gets into a car accident; her friends Emm and Jules (Amy Ingram and Laura Quantick) are in the vehicle with her. Four people die as a result of Cassie's actions. The police intended for the film to be aired in British schools.The police agency said that it took a "few thousand pounds" to make the film. 300 drama students auditioned for the making of the film.The full PIF is shown to students in the United Kingdom. As of 2009 the PIF had not been aired on television stations in the United States. In 2010 a modified 30-second version of the public service announcement was to begin airing during certain hours in 13 television stations in central and upstate South Carolina.Degrassi (season 13)
The thirteenth season of Degrassi, a Canadian serial teen drama television series, premiered July 11, 2013, concluded on July 29, 2014 in Canada and the United States, and consists of 40 episodes. Although only four school years have passed in the story timeline since season six, season thirteen is set during the summer through the first term of the spring semester in the years it aired. Writers have been able to use a semi-floating timeline, so that the issues depicted are modern for their viewers. This season depicts the lives of a group of high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduates as they deal with some of the challenges and issues that teenagers face such as cancer, texting while driving, death, sexism, sleep disorders, cyber bullying, domestic violence, rape, racial profiling and relationships.
The thirteenth season was announced November 30, 2012, however MuchMusic and TeenNick did not announce picking up the season until a month before the first episode was scheduled to air. The show moved to MTV Canada part way through the season. MuchMusic had aired the series in Canada since 2010, and TeenNick has aired the series in the United States since 2002. Production for the season began in April 2013 at Epitome Pictures' studios in Toronto, Ontario. This season departs from the telenovela/soap opera format used in the previous three seasons.
When Adam Torres, the only transgender character in the show's history, was killed off during this season, controversy ensued, including a statement from GLAAD.When Degrassi introduced its large and loyal audience to Adam Torres, an authentic, multi-dimensional transgender character, the show not only made television history, but set a new standard industry standard for LGBT inclusion. With so few transgender characters on television, we are disappointed that Adam’s story had to end this way, and we hope other shows will follow Degrassi’s lead in bringing stories like his to viewers...Linda Schuyler, one of the show's creators, defended the choice to kill the character, saying in a statement:The combination of Adam being a favorite character, and Jordan being at the end of her contract, presented a unique opportunity to tell this story through such a beloved character. As saddened as we are to say goodbye to Adam, we feel this storyline will affect even more lives in an authentic way...Distracted driving
Distracted driving refers to the act of driving while engaging in other activities which distract the driver's attention away from the road. Distractions are shown to compromise the safety of the driver, passengers, pedestrians, and people in other vehicles.Cell phone use while behind the wheel is one of the common forms of distracted driving. According to the United States Department of Transportation, "texting while driving creates a crash risk 23 times higher than driving while not distracted." Studies and polls regularly find that over 30% of United States drivers had recently texted and driven. Distracted driving is particularly common among, but not exclusive to, younger drivers.Matt Turner (Neighbours)
Matthew James "Matt" Turner is a fictional character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours, played by Josef Brown. The actor was cast shortly after he completed a guest stint on rival soap opera Home and Away. Brown relocated to Melbourne for filming and he shot his first scenes as Matt in October 2012. The character was created and introduced to Neighbours along with his family, as part of a major overhaul of the show's cast. He made his first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 7 February 2013. Brown departed Neighbours on 25 March 2015, following Matt's death. Brown reprised the role for one episode on 9 August 2016.
Matt was introduced as the patriarch of the Turner family. He was a police officer with the local force, and portrayed as being stubborn, hard working, traditional and loyal. He also had a lesser seen softer, more fun side. Matt's storylines often revolved around his marriage to Lauren Carpenter (Kate Kendall) and their three children. Shortly after Matt's eldest son, Mason (Taylor Glockner), was introduced, it emerged that he had been in juvenile detention and Matt had been the arresting officer. Matt and Mason had to work through their issues quickly in order to protect the family from Robbo Slade (Aaron Jakubenko). Matt also developed a rivalry with Lauren's ex-boyfriend and neighbour, Brad Willis (Kip Gamblin), and learned that they had a daughter together. Matt was killed off as part of a storyline that highlighted the dangers of texting while driving. Matt received mostly positive attention from critics.Mobile phones and driving safety
Mobile phone use while driving is common but it is widely considered dangerous due to its potential for causing distracted driving and crashes. Due to the number of crashes that are related to conducting calls on a phone and texting while driving, some jurisdictions have made the use of calling on a phone while driving illegal. Many jurisdictions have enacted laws to ban handheld mobile phone use. Nevertheless, many jurisdictions allow use of a hands-free device. Driving while using a hands-free device is not safer than using a handheld phone to conduct calls, as concluded by case-crossover studies, epidemiological, simulation, and meta-analysis. In some cases restrictions are directed only at minors, those who are newly qualified license holders (of any age), or to drivers in school zones. In addition to voice calling, activities such as texting while driving, web browsing, playing video games, or phone use in general can also increase the risk of a crash.
In the United States, automobile crashes due to distracted driving are increasing. The leading cause of distracted driving is cell phones.In 2015, six hundred and sixty thousand drivers in the United States were estimated to use cell phones each day, while driving behind the wheel during daylight hours. Cell phone use while driving has become a leading cause of vehicle crashes over the last two decades. Using a cell phone while driving increases the driver's risk of causing a crash. Drivers are distracted, decreasing the driver's awareness on the road, leading to more car crashes. When drivers talk on cell phones the risk of an automobile crash resulting in hospitalization is four times higher than when not talking on a cell phone. Drivers who text when behind the wheel, are twenty-three times more likely to have an automobile crash. One out of every four automobile crashes in the United States are caused by texting while driving. Some states have implemented laws in regards to using cell phones while driving, there is more to be done.Nancy Garland
Nancy Garland (born January 25, 1954) was a Democratic member of the Ohio House of Representatives, representing the 20th District from 2009-2012.Restrictions on cell phone use while driving in the United States
Various laws in the United States regulate the use of mobile phones and other electronics by motorists. Different states take different approaches. Some laws affect only novice drivers or commercial drivers, while some laws affect all drivers. Some laws target handheld devices only, while other laws affect both handheld and handsfree devices.Ryan Beatty
Ryan Kevin Beatty (born September 25, 1995) is an American singer. He was born in Clovis, California and now resides in Los Angeles. His debut EP, Because of You debuted at #1 on the iTunes Pop Charts & #7 on the Top 100 in 2012. Beatty's 2012 single, "Hey LA" was featured in a nationwide AT&T campaign against texting while driving. Beatty's debut album, Boy in Jeans, released July 20, 2018.Silent mode
Silent mode is a setting available on mobile phones and pagers that, when activated, disables the ringtones and, in some cases, also the vibrating alerts or alarm. Unlike the airplane mode, the silent mode still allows the device to receive and send calls and messages.
This quiet option may be useful in meetings, speeches, libraries, museums, or places of worship. In some places it is mandatory to use the silent mode or to switch off the device.Textalyzer
A textalyzer is a proposed device that would allow the police to detect illegal text messaging while driving. The device has been promoted as a means of reducing distracted driving. The device would be used by police officers who suspect that a driver has been texting while driving using similar procedures currently in place for drivers suspected of driving under the influence. The device would be connected to the driver's mobile phone and would scan the phone for calls, e-mails, or text messages sent when the driver would have been operating the vehicle.
In 2016, legislation was introduced in the New York Senate to implement the use of textalyzers, but the effort ultimately failed. A report by the New York Governor's Traffic Safety Committee was worried about the lack of competing products and unknown costs of the device which the manufacturer was not going to produce until they had a legal market for it. Among other concerns, they stated that there is "no evidence that the product will be able to do what the manufacturer claims." This was echoed by the statement of American Civil Liberties Union, which did not believe the device could be made to reliably distinguish between illegal texts and legal activity such as texts written by a car passenger or texting via hands-free speech-to-text technology. According to an ACLU security engineer, phones do not log information in enough detail to differentiate between these cases.Law experts as well as members of police have stated that the device might be in contravention of existing privacy laws. The Riley v California Supreme Court case states that a warrant is necessary to search the contents of a cell phone found on an arrested person. Additionally, some see it as an unnecessary breach of privacy to get information that can already be acquired through other means.Textecution
Textecution is an application developed for the T-Mobile G1 Google phone that restricts the user's ability to text message while driving. It is estimated that 46% of teens text message while driving, a potentially dangerous behavior.Traffic violations reciprocity
Under traffic violations reciprocity agreements, non-resident drivers are treated like residents when they are stopped for a traffic offense that occurs in another jurisdiction. They also ensure that punishments such as penalty points on one's license and the ensuing increase in insurance premiums follow the driver home. The general principle of such interstate, interprovincial, and/or international compacts is to guarantee the rule "one license, one record."Travis Holdman
Travis Holdman is a Republican member of the Indiana Senate, representing the 19th District since 2008. He was elected to the State Senate in March 2008, after the death of David C. Ford. Holdman has championed legislation to make texting while driving illegal in Indiana.Wayne Wallingford
Wayne Wallingford (born July 11, 1946) is an American politician. He is a Republican member of the Missouri State Senate, having served since 2013. Because of term limits, he is not eligible to run for reelection in 2020.
|Rules of the road|
|Road user guides|
|Traffic violations reciprocity|