House Bill 1177, “Texting While Driving Ban”, became state law on Tuesday, July 1st. The ban states that no one operating a motor vehicle on a highway is permitted to use a wireless electronic device to write, send, or read text-based communication messages. The ban does not apply when:
1) the vehicle is lawfully parked
2) contacting any emergency public safety answering point or dispatch center
3) using the device to write, read, select or enter a telephone number/name to make or receive a phone call
4) using voice operated or hands free technology.
The violation of the texting ban is a secondary offense, meaning that the driver must be pulled over for another violation before being ticketed for texting. The fine for texting while driving is $100.
A complete list of all the laws that went into effect on July 1st can be found by clicking here.