Everything You Need to Know About Vermont’s Texting and Driving Laws

Under Vermont's texting and driving law, texting while driving is a primary offense that could cost you up to $200 for your first offense.
Written by Amy Bobinger
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jun 01, 2022
Texting and driving is a primary offense in
, which means you can be pulled over and ticketed for it even if you aren’t doing anything else wrong. This offense can get you fined up to $200 for your first offense and as much as $500 for any subsequent offenses within two years.
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
These laws can vary from state to state, so you might be unsure about what is and isn’t allowed in Vermont. Not to worry! Car insurance comparison app and licensed broker
is here to break down Vermont’s distracted driving laws, including any potential exceptions and the penalties for sending messages while you’re driving.
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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
  • Visually: It takes your eyes off the road
  • Manually: It takes your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitively: It takes your mind off your driving

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.
Key Takeaway It’s illegal to use a handheld device in Vermont while you’re driving, but you can use hands-free mode if you’re over the age of 18.

Can texting and driving raise my insurance premium?

Texting and driving tickets can raise your insurance premium. In Vermont, the average driver with a clean record pays about $1,098 a year in car insurance. After a
texting and driving ticket
, that number shoots up to about $1261. That’s an increase of $163—or 15%!
To keep your premiums from spiking, keep your phone stashed somewhere safe while you’re driving. Or, at the very least, opt for a hands-free option (as long as you’re over 18, of course). Not only will avoiding a ticket help you keep a clean record and score some
discounts on your insurance
, but you’ll be keeping yourself and other drivers safer, too.

How to save money on car insurance in Vermont

Texting and driving tickets in Vermont can get pretty expensive, especially when you factor in the increased cost of your car insurance premiums. Luckily, the
app makes it easy to save big. Just download the app (once you’re off the road) and answer a couple of quick questions. 
Within seconds, you’ll be browsing the very best rates from more than 50 top insurers. And once you pick the policy you want, Jerry will even help you switch.
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