Policy Analysis | March 2013

What are the distracted driving laws in SLC member states?

Distracted Driving Regulations by SLC Member State

State Ban on Handheld Devices Ban on Cell Phone Use while Driving Ban on Texting while Driving Collection of Crash Data
School Bus Drivers Novice Drivers All Drivers School Bus Drivers Novice Drivers
Alabama For Drivers 16,or 17 years old holding an Intermediate License less than six months Yes Covered under all driver ban
Arkansas 1 Drivers 18-20 years old Yes Under 18 * Yes Covered under all driver ban Yes
Florida Yes
Georgia Yes Under 18 Yes Covered under all driver ban Yes
Kentucky Yes Under 18 Yes Covered under all driver ban
Louisiana Learner or Intermediate License (regardless of age) Yes During First Year of License (primary offense for drivers Under 18) Yes Covered under all driver ban Yes
Mississippi Yes Yes Learner or Provisional License
Missouri under 21
North Carolina Yes Under 18 Yes Covered under all driver ban
Oklahoma Learner or Intermediate License Yes Yes Learner or Intermediate License Yes
South Carolina Yes 2
Tennessee Yes Learner or Intermediate License Yes Covered under all driver ban Yes
Texas 3 Yes, with passenger(s) Under 18 During First Year of Intermediate License Yes, with Passenger(s) Under 18 During Intermediate License, First Year Yes
Virginia Yes Under 18 * Yes * Covered under all driver ban Covered under all driver ban Yes
West Virginia Yes Under 18 with Learner or Intermediate Licence Yes Covered under all driver ban

Notes:

* Secondary offense - drivers only can be cited for offense if stopped and ticketed for a more severe, primary offense

1 Arkansas also bans the use of handheld cell phones while driving in a school zone or in a highway construction zone. This law is secondarily enforced.

2 South Carolina has a Distracted/inattention attribute under Contributing Factors.

3 Texas has banned the use of hand-held phones and texting in school zones.

Source:

Governors Highway Safety Assocation