Table 2-25: State Laws on Distracted Driving- Ban on Hand-Held Devices and Texting While Driving: As of May 2016
|Ban on hand-held devices for all drivers||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Ban on texting for all drivers||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Ban on hand-held devices for all drivers||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||16|
|Ban on texting for all drivers||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||48|
KEY: Y = Yes.
A primary law means that an officer can ticket the driver for the offense without any other traffic violation taking place. A secondary law means an officer can only issue a ticket if a driver has been pulled over for another violation (like speeding).
Hand-held Cell Phone Use: 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 are primary enforcement laws—an officer may cite a driver for using a hand-held cell phone without any other traffic offense taking place.
Text Messaging: Washington was the first state to pass a texting ban in 2007. Currently, 46 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers. All but 5 have primary enforcement. Of the 4 states without an all driver texting ban.
U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, State Laws on Distracted Driving, available at http://www.distraction.gov/stats-research-laws/state-laws.html as of May 2016.