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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

State Laws on Distracted Driving Ban on Hand-Held Devices and Texting While Driving



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. 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

messsaging for all drivers.


This map is included in the Passenger Travel Facts and Figures 2016 publication. 


U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, State Laws, available at

get-the-facts/state-laws.html as of February 2015.