In Vermont, distracted driving causes an average of seven fatal accidents a year—that’s 11% of all fatal crashes in the state. The Vermont State Police are hoping to reduce the number of injuries and deaths due to device-related distracted driving. That’s why in 2014, Vermont banned all drivers from using handheld devices behind the wheel.
What are the texting and driving laws in Vermont?
In Vermont, you can be ticketed for distracted driving for using your handheld device while driving. Distracted driving is a primary offense, which means an officer can pull you over and ticket you if they see you texting, emailing, watching videos, or even making a call—anything that requires you to have your phone in your hand.
If you’re over the age of 18, you can use your device in hands-free mode. However, drivers under 18 cannot use any portable devices like phones, tablets, or MP3 players in hands-free mode.
This might seem like a strict law, but texting and driving is a serious safety hazard. It actually distracts you from driving in three important ways:
What are the penalties for texting and driving in Vermont?
If you’re ticketed for texting and driving in Vermont, you’ll face a fine of $100 to $200 for your first offense. That fine increases to $200 to $500 for any additional offenses within two years. And if you were ticketed in a construction zone, you’ll get two points on your license in addition to the fines.
Are there exceptions to Vermont’s texting and driving law?
Yes, there are a few exceptions to this law. You are allowed to use GPS or navigation systems while driving in Vermont. However, these devices must be programmed before you start driving.
Drivers may also use their devices to contact emergency services. In this case, teen drivers would be allowed to use either hands-free or a handheld device, and adult drivers could use their handheld device.
Are there special rules about texting and driving for young drivers?
Yes. In Vermont, drivers who are under 18 are prohibited from using any devices while they drive, including hands-free. Younger drivers are especially susceptible to being distracted. Law enforcement takes this law seriously, so if you’re a teen driver, make sure you wait until you reach your destination before you pull out your phone.
Can texting and driving raise my insurance premium?
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