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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hand-Held Cell Use While Driving A No-No Now

As of March 2009, several states and provinces have enacted laws restricting or banning the use of hand-held cellular phones. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and Transport Canada :

  • The states of California , Connecticut , New Jersey , New York , Utah and Washington and the District of Columbia and the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador , Nova Scotia , and Quebec have all passed laws that ban the use of hand-held cellular phones while driving.

  • The states of Illinois , Massachusetts , Michigan , New Mexico , Ohio and Pennsylvania authorize local governments to ban drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. Localities in other states may not need specific statutory authority to ban the use of cell phones.

  • In Utah , and in Canada , drivers can be charged with a more serious offense of dangerous or careless driving if they commit some other moving violation, other than speeding, while talking on a hand-held cell phone.

  • Several states including Louisiana have enacted restrictions on the use of hand-held cell phones by novice drivers.

For a more complete, up-to-date list of restrictions and fines associated with cell phone use while driving, visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety at http://www.iihs.org/laws/cellphonelaws.aspx, the Governors Highway Safety Association at http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html, or Transport Canada at: http://www.tc.gc.ca/RoadSafety/SafeDrivers/distractions/index.htm.

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