Texting While Driving Laws and Facts

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Lawmakers in every state except Montana have enacted laws concerning texting and driving. Considered a dangerous practice, texting while driving pulls your attention away from the road and leads to preventable accidents. In order to stop the practice of texting and driving, local law enforcement issues citations, fines, and even jail time in extreme cases.
Find out more below about the penalties for texting and driving by state, facts associated with texting and driving, and apps that can prevent you from texting and driving.

Texting laws by state

The dangers of texting and driving have led to many states enacting laws either partially or totally prohibiting the act. You might have some confusion as to the texting and driving laws in your state. The table below shows the laws and penalties in various states when it comes to texting and driving:
Cell Phone and Texting Restrictions by State
State Cell Phone Handheld Use Ban Text Messaging While Driving Ban Penalties for Cell Phone Use and Texting While Driving (as of 7-2017)
Alabama No All drivers First offense: $25 fine; second offense: $50 fine; subsequent offenses: $75 fine.
Alaska No All drivers Charged with a misdemeanor if no accident. Charged with a felony if an accident with injury.
Arizona No Only for permit holders under 18 No penalty.
Arkansas Drivers 18 to 20 All drivers Up to a $100 fine.
California Yes All drivers First offense: $20 fine; subsequent offenses: $50 fine.
Colorado No All drivers First offense: $56 fine; Subsequent offense: $106 fine.
Connecticut Yes All drivers First offense: $125 fine; subsequent offenses: $250 fine.
Delaware Yes All drivers First offense: $106 fine; subsequent offenses: up to a $350 fine.
D.C. Yes All drivers Fine of $100.
Florida No All drivers Fine of $30.
Georgia No All drivers Fine of $150 plus one point on driving record.
Hawaii Yes All drivers First offense: $200 fine; second offense (within same year) $300 fine.
Idaho No All drivers Fines start at $85 for the first offense.
Illinois Yes All drivers Fines start at $75 for a first offense.
Indiana No All drivers Fine ranges from $35 to $500.
Iowa No All drivers Fine of $30, or up to $1,000 for causing a serious accident while texting.
Kansas No All drivers Fine of $60.
Kentucky No All drivers First offense: $25 plus court costs; subsequent offenses: $50 plus court costs.
Louisiana Drivers with permits, regardless of age All drivers First offense: $175 fine; subsequent offenses: $500 fine.
Maine No All drivers First offense: $100 fine; fines increase for subsequent offenses.
Maryland Yes All drivers Fine ranges from $40 to $100.
Massachusetts No All drivers First offense: $100 fine; subsequent offenses: $250 fine.
Michigan No All drivers First offense: $100 fine; subsequent offenses: $200 fine.
Minnesota No All drivers Fines up to $300 per offense.
Mississippi No All drivers Fine of $500 for a first time offender.
Missouri No Drivers 21 and under Fine of $20.50.
Montana No No No penalty.
Nebraska No All drivers First offense: $200 fine; second offense: $300 fine; subsequent offenses: $500 fine.
Nevada Yes All drivers First offense: $50 fine; second offense (within seven years): $100 fine; subsequent offenses (within seven years): $250 fine.
New Hampshire Yes All drivers $100 fine.
New Jersey Yes All drivers $100 fine.
New Mexico In-state vehicles All drivers First offense: $25 fine; subsequent offenses: $50 fine.
New York Yes All drivers Fine of $150 plus mandatory fees up to $85.
North Carolina No All drivers Novice drivers: $25 fine; adult drivers: $100 fine.
North Dakota No All drivers Fine of $100.
Ohio No All drivers Up to $150 fine. Up to a $300 fine for novice drivers.
Oklahoma Drivers with permits All drivers Suspended or revoked driver's license.
Oregon Yes All drivers Fine of $142.
Pennsylvania No All drivers Fine of $50.
Rhode Island No All drivers First offense: $85 fine; second offense: $100 fine; subsequent offenses: $125 fine.
South Carolina No. All drivers Fine amount varies by county.
South Dakota No. All drivers Fine of $100.
Tennessee No. All drivers Fine of $50 plus court costs (not to exceed $10).
Texas No. Banned in school zones All drivers No penalty.
Utah No All drivers Fine of $750 and/or jail time of up to three months.
Vermont Yes All drivers First offense: $100 fine; subsequent offenses (within two years): $250 fine
Virginia No All drivers First offense: $125 fine; subsequent offenses: $250 fine.
Washington Yes All drivers First offense: $124 fine.
West Virginia Yes All drivers First offense: $25 fine; second offenses: $50 fine; subsequent offenses: $75 fine.
Wisconsin No All drivers Fine of $20 to $400, and up to four points on driving record.
Wyoming No All drivers Up to a $75 fine.
Source: [GHSA.org](http://www.ghsa.org/state-laws/issues/Distracted-Driving)

Texting while driving facts

The bigger question is: why is texting and driving so dangerous? The following information from DoSomething.org highlights some intriguing facts when it comes to texting and driving.
  • When texting, drivers take their attention away from the road for a minimum of five seconds, or the length of a football field when driving at 55 MPH.
  • Drivers who text increase their chances of having an accident up to 23 times.
  • Teenage drivers who text and drive spend, on average, 10% of their time while driving and texting outside of their driving lane.
  • While 97% of teens questioned in an AT&T Teen Driver Survey agreed that texting and driving was a dangerous practice, 43% still engage in the practice anyway.
  • Drivers of all ages use handheld devices while driving. Nineteen percent of drivers of all ages surf the Internet while driving.

Apps that help prevent texting while driving

In order to prevent texting while driving, you can download apps to you or your teen’s mobile device. These apps work by either shutting down a device’s ability to text altogether or by notifying a parent when teens do use a device while driving.
Texting and driving can lead to an accident, causing damage, injury, and possibly death, which is why it is important that you refrain from the practice. Most states across the U.S. now outlaw cell phone use or texting while driving, giving out fines and other penalties to offenders. If you have trouble not texting while driving, use one of the available apps mentioned above to curtail the activity.

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