In Hawaii, distracted driving is considered a primary offense and carries a fine of $250—that fine increases to $300 in a school or construction zone.
Every year in Hawaii, there are roughly 10,000 car accidents, most of which are the direct result of distracted driving. In 2018, Hawaii law enforcement issued more than 14,000 citations for distracted driving alone. It is easy to be distracted when behind the wheel, and handheld devices make this even easier (and thus, more dangerous).
To cut down on distracted driving-related accidents, Hawaii—like most other states—has a strict ban on texting and driving. The
car insurance broker and comparison shopping app
Jerry is here to walk you through the details of Hawaii’s texting and driving ban, including answering some questions and running through all the potential penalties you can incur if caught texting and driving in the Aloha State.
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever
What are the texting and driving laws in Hawaii?
In Hawaii, texting and driving is considered a primary offense—this means that if a police officer sees you violating a law (in this case, the texting and driving law), they can pull you over and issue you a citation.
As well, texting and driving is banned in school and construction zones in Hawaii.
Using a handheld cell phone is prohibited for all drivers, but hands-free is allowed. Texting while driving is prohibited. All drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a mobile device while driving, including hands-free.
Texting and driving is considered dangerous because it combines three types of
distracted driving as recognized by the state:
Visual distractions take your eyes off of the roadway
Cognitive distractions take your mind off of the road
Manual distractions take your hands off of the steering wheel
What are the penalties for texting and driving in Hawaii?
In Hawaii, you will pay a fine of $250 if you're caught texting and driving. If you’re caught texting and driving in a school or construction zone, the fine is $300.
Hawaii does not have a point system, so no points will be added to your driving record if you are cited for texting and driving.
Using a handheld device while driving
$250 (plus court costs and fees)
Using a handheld device while driving in school or construction zone
$300 (plus court costs and fees)
Depending on the circumstances, a texting and driving violation can lead to reckless driving charges. If the violation results in the serious injury or death of another person, you may be charged with negligent homicide.
For a commercial driver, the penalty for texting and driving is even steeper—a fine of up to $2,750 is possible, as is the suspension of driving privileges.
Hawaii’s distracted driving law also prohibits checking your phone at a red light or stop sign. According to federal data,
36% of collisions occur at intersections, so leave the phone alone until you’ve safely reached your destination.
Are there exceptions to Hawaii’s texting and driving law?
The use of a handheld cell phone is allowed by all drivers in order to call 911, and this includes drivers under 18. Calling for emergency assistance is the only time a driver under 18 can use a mobile phone while driving a vehicle.
The following drivers are exempt from Hawaii’s distracted driving laws:
Emergency responders using a cell phone as part of their job (police, paramedics, firefighters, state and federal law enforcement, etc)
Drivers operating fleet vehicles or with a commercial driver’s license (within meaning of Title 47 Part 90 of the Code of Federal Regulations) as part of their duties
Are there special rules about texting and driving for young drivers?
Yes—drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use cell phones while driving at all, including hands-free mode. The only time a driver under the age of 18 can use a cell phone in a vehicle is to call 911 in an emergency.
Key Takeaway: Drivers over the age of 18 in Hawaii can use hands-free mode with their cell phones, but younger drivers cannot. Texting is forbidden for all Hawaii drivers.
Can texting and driving raise my insurance premium?
Yes, a citation for texting and driving can increase your overall insurance premium in Hawaii. In fact, the average driver with a distracted driving violation on their record saw their premium increase by 19%, or $290 in Hawaii.
As a rule, it is always a good idea to leave your phone alone while driving. Hands-free mode is only allowed for drivers over 18. Not touching your phone while driving keeps you, your passengers, and other drivers safe, not to mention that it also keeps your insurance premium low.
How to save money on car insurance in Hawaii
A citation for texting and driving can bump up your insurance premium by nearly 20%! If your premium is already high, a 20% markup can strain your finances. But with some help from the internet’s top insurance app, affordable
car insurance rates can be a constant in your life, no matter your record.
Once you’ve safely reached your destination (and not while driving), download
trustworthy insurance comparison app. Sign-up takes just 45 seconds and this car super app gets to work comparing more than 50 top quotes for you to pick from. Once you make your choice, Jerry will sign you up for your policy and cancel your old one for you. Best of all, Jerry automatically searches for better rates on your behalf before every renewal period!
Jerry users save an average of $887 per year on car insurance!
Jerry saved me over $4500 during the entire year. The money really adds up.” —D’Shawn G.