Indiana Bans Holding Phones While Driving

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As electronics evolve, our dependence on them increases. Unfortunately, in some areas of life, this overuse of electronics has been deemed dangerous. This is the reasoning behind the latest law to pass in Indiana, banning motorists from using handheld mobile phones while driving.

New Indiana Texting and Driving Law

The Indiana cell phone law came into effect on July 1st, making Indiana one of 22 states which outlaw the use of mobile phones on the road. Other states which ban the use of cellular phones in hand while driving include:

  • California
  • Delaware
  • Connecticut
  • Nevada
  • Maryland
  • Illinois
  • Hawaii
  • District of Columbia
  • Oregon
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Tennessee
  • Rhode Island
  • New Mexico
  • Minnesota
  • Maine
  • Georgia
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Other states have restrictions on the use of a cell phone, or texting and driving, but the laws cater to any age group or driving level. The list above disallows handheld devices by the driver under any circumstance, leading to penalization.

Texting and Driving in Indiana

Distracted driving has been an ongoing cause of car accident reports in the United States since the invention of the mobile phone. The ability to text, search Google, and video chat while driving increased the distraction level exponentially, which in turn has made the Indiana cell phone law necessary. In fact, distracted driving is said to be the top cause of death for young drivers in the United States, increasing the risk of a crash times 3.5.

Surprisingly, a ban on texting and driving is not new to the state of Indiana. Police have been pulling over and fining drivers for texting and driving for some time now. The problem is that catching somebody while texting is difficult. Most drivers have stopped and set the phone aside by the time an officer can get them to pull over. This new law will give police the right to pull over and fine individuals simply for being spotted holding a mobile phone in their hand. This makes it much easier to spot rule breakers and reduce the number of distracted drivers on the road.

What Does the Indiana Cell Phone Law Mean?

The Indiana cell phone law was created to decrease the level of distracted driving on roads and highways. To curb the behavior of texting and driving, the new laws will see drivers using their cell phones fined up to $500. Along with a monetary fine, drivers could face penalization by losing their license entirely, especially in cases of repeat offenses.

The only workaround for this law, which drivers can rely on as a means of avoiding fines and penalization, is if the mobile phone is firmly mounted in a dashboard mounting device. Similarly, drivers are still able to use the hands-free mode, should they need to make a phone call while driving.

Hands-free mode uses voice-activated commands to make calls and even send text messages. Many new vehicles are designed to interact with mobile phones via Bluetooth, even going so far as to display text messages on the dashboard or radio as you drive.

Another workaround for the law is the ability to use your mobile phone while the vehicle is immobile. Some cities in other countries, like Canada, have made this illegal as well, afraid that texting at a red light may distract a driver from watching for pedestrians, the changing of the light, or turning vehicles. For now, Indiana allows drivers to text while stopped, but encourages them to remain vigilant to their surroundings.

Support from Law Enforcement and Doctors

As this legislation went to bat in Indiana, many health and law enforcement providers testified to the benefits involved. As professionals spoke at the House of Senate, more government officials grew in favor of the idea, which lead to the passing of the latest law. Some state representatives suggested police spend the first year the law is in effect warning drivers, providing them with the opportunity to curb their ways before ticketing them. Other representatives disagreed believing the Indiana cell phone law was a long time coming and should be enforced rigidly to protect citizens from the dangers of texting and driving.

As police officers and medical professionals are among the top individuals impacted by distracted driving, it makes sense that these two professions have been most passionate about the Indiana cell phone law.

Getting Hit By Someone Texting and Driving

If you or somebody you know has been hit by someone distracted driving, contacting a lawyer as soon as possible is the best course of action. This new law is meant to prevent people from being in an accident but if you can prove that the driver who hit you was texting there may be an additional charge and potentially more compensation in your case.

Dyer, Garofalo, Mann, & Schultz recommends installing a dashcam in your vehicle to easily prove that texting and driving was the cause of your accident. The best way to avoid being wrongfully accused for texting and driving is to make it impossible to be pulled over for it. If your phone is mounted and you are using speak to text, and other hands-free methods of communication, no law is being broken and you are well within your right to use the phone.

Getting caught while texting and driving can impact you financially, but also impact your job and social life as man individuals will lose points from their license and potentially lose their license for a period of time. As the law is new as of July, any motorist who has received a ticket in the year up to July 1, 2021, will not lose points, but rather be fined or receive some other form of penalization. Following July 1, 2021, the Indiana cell phone law will be permanent and active.

For parents of teenage drivers, now is an excellent time to go over the finer points of the Indiana cell phone law, and help young drivers better understand the dangers of distracted driving. We recommend having teen drivers in cars that support GPS through the car not just to keep eyes forward but to teach the importance of driving without using phones.


Quick Answers

What is the Indiana Cell Phone Law?

The Indiana cell phone law was created to decrease the level of distracted driving on roads and highways. To curb the behavior of texting and driving, the new laws will see drivers using their cell phones fined up to $500. Along with a monetary fine, drivers could face penalization by losing their license entirely, especially in cases of repeat offenses.


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