Indiana: Cell phone laws, legislation

Last updated: March 12, 2014
Flag from IndianaCell phone, texting update: Indiana State Police kept busy during the June distracted driving crackdown under the latest 6 State Trooper Project. About 2,000 citations were issued on major interstates in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky from June 16-22, 2013. The next crackdown will target marijuana distribution.

Cell phone use was linked to 966 crashes in 2012, a decline from the year before. The number of overall distracted driving-related crashes increased in Indiana, however, officials said.

No distracted driving legislation was under consideration by the Indiana General Assembly in 2013.

Few tickets have been written under the 2-year-old texting law, police say, because it is hard to tell if a driver is illegally texting or legally entering a phone number or using GPS.

Indiana was the 32nd state to ban texting while behind the wheel. The law became effective July 1, 2011, with fines up to $500.

Current prohibitions:

  • Text messaging prohibited for all drivers while vehicle is in motion. Fines up to $500.
  • Drivers under the age of 18 may not use cell phones, text messaging devices or other wireless telecommunications devices.

Distracted driving notes (2013):
State Sen. Travis Holdman, father of Indiana’s texting law, says he’s puzzled by the “reticence” of police to enforce it. He told the Courier-Journal that “my fear is that they’re going to see legislation in a few years to ban handheld devices while driving. I would hate to see that happen.”

2012 distracted driving legislation (dead):
Senate Bill 342: Would create offense of “recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally” using a handheld electronic communications device in work zones. Hands free and voice activated OK. Class A misdemeanor. (Broden)

SB 196: Would bar police from downloading information from a cell phone in relation to a violation of the state law against text messaging and driving. State law already prohibits seizure or confiscation of cell phones in texting & driving cases. (Waltz)

2012 distracted driving notes:
“We are tired of seeing the devastation from texting and driving,” a Fort Wayne emergency room worker told Granite Broadcasting. Traffic deaths in the northeast part of the state were on the rise in the first half of 2012.

Indiana State Police say they’ll use planes to help identify distracted drivers. A crackdown is set for the northeast part of the state, according to reports June 21, 2012. The police are targeting text messaging, weaving and drowsy drivers.

The move comes weeks after news that State Police had issued only 125 tickets under the texting & driving law that went into effect in July 2011. In Indianapolis, only five tickets were written over that 11-month period, according to local reports.

2011 distracted driving legislation:
House Bill 1129: Seeks to ban phone calling and text messaging by drivers using handheld electronic devices. Hands-free texting OK. Bars police from confiscating texting devices (for this offense). Class C infraction, fines up to $500. Approved Jan. 20 by the House Public Policy Committee in a 10-2 vote. Approved by the House in an 85-11 vote on Jan. 25 and sent to the Senate. Approved by the Senate corrections committee in a 7-2 vote on March 1. Amended by the Senate (March 14 ) to include a ban on handheld cell phone use. Approved by the full Senate in a 29-20 vote on March 15; returned to the House. Rewritten April 26 by conference committee to remove Senate’s addition of cell phone ban. Bill returned to both houses. Approved by the House in an 83-10 vote taken April 28. Approved by the Senate in a 26-24 vote taken April 29. Latest action: Signed into law by Gov. Mitch Daniels on May 10. Read House Enrolled Act 1129. Law took effect July 1, 2011. (Koch)

Indiana Senate Bill 18: Would outlaw text messaging while driving and restrict use of cell phones to hands-free operation. Offenses would be Class C infractions, similar to traffic tickets. Approved by the Senate Public Policy Committee on Feb. 11, in a 5-2 vote. Latest action: Approved by the full Senate in a 29-21 vote on Feb. 17 and sent to the House. Dead. (Holdman)

HB 1158: In cases of vehicular “reckless homicide,” a Class C felony, courts allowed to consider whether accused was using a handheld cell phone at the time of a crash (“among other factors”). Heavily amended in Roads and Transportation Committee on Feb. 17. “Call withdrawn” during second reading in House on March 28. Dead. (Yarde)

2011 distracted driving notes:
There was no warning period for Indiana’s texting and driving ban: “Drivers have had plenty of notice about the law,” a spokesman for the State Police said.

On May 11, 2011, Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the texting legislation sent to him by the House and Senate. The Senate had expanded the original House bill to include a ban on use of handheld cell phones while driving, but that element was removed by a conference committee. The new law — which gets primary enforcement — is restricted to the reading, writing and sending of text messages while a vehicle is in motion. Hands-free (voice activated) texting OK.

State Senator Tom Wyss, R-Fort Wayne, said (correctly) of the Senate’s addition of a handheld cell phone to HB 1129: “It’s going to cause a lot of people to oppose it. The chances of it passing in this manner is pretty slim.”

Diveeta Thompson, who lost her 18-year-old son when he crashed while texting, testified in favor of House Bill 1129 the day of its approval by a House panel. “I can’t go fast enough and I can’t speak loud enough,” she tearfully said Jan. 20 of her efforts to combat distracted driving by teens. The bill was approved by the full House five days later. Thompson also told her story to the Senate panel that approved the bill on March 1.

Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, has filed legislation (SB 18) for the 2011 session that would ban texting while driving and the use of handheld cell phones. His SB 18 of 2010 (same number) failed to advance last session (below). He also authored the graduated license law that prevents teen drivers under 18 from using cell phones and texting devices.

Indiana’s attorney general and AT&T Indiana’s president joined Sen. Holdman at a December 2010 rally for the new SB 18 legislation

Key committee member Sen. Brent Steele says he’ll drop his opposition to a full Senate vote on legislation that seeks to ban texting while driving. Steele, R-District 44, protested 2010 efforts to halt the distracted driving practice, saying enforcement would not be possible. He says a 2011 plan that would ban both text messaging and the use of handheld cell phones while driving satisfies his enforcement concerns and should get a full hearing. Steele still doesn’t support a ban, however.

Rep. David Yarde, R-Garrett, filed legislation for 2011 that would bring felony punishments for drivers who cause injuries and/or deaths while using a cell phone. HB 1158 does not seek a ban on cell phone use or texting, however. Cell-phoning drivers who injure someone would be subject to up to three years in prison. For a death, the penalty would be up to eight years in prison.

The Indiana Legislature has a “full session” planned for 2011, which increases chances that distracted driving bills will become law. The 2010 session was short.

Indiana Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) rallied at the Statehouse in November 2010 in hopes of inspiring legislators to take further action on distracted driving. AAA Hoosier Motor Club and State Farm Insurance joined the students in rolling out a public awareness campaign.

State Police linked cell phone use to more than 1,100 crashes last year, resulting in four fatalities.

2010 legislation (session over)
Indiana House Bill 1279: Would ban text messaging for all drivers on Indiana roads and highways. Texting via hands-free devices exempted. Fines up to $500. Cleared the Committee on Public Policy on Jan. 28, 2010, and was sent to the Senate, where several sponsors have signed on. (Pearson)

HB 1057: Would ban text messaging while driving in Indiana. (Moses)

HB 1060: Would prohibit text messaging and cell phone use by drivers over the age of 18, unless a hands-free accessory is employed. Fines $25 (first)/$50/$100. (Summers)

Indiana Senate Bill 18: Would ban all forms of text messaging while driving on state roads and highways. (Holdman)

SB 111: Would make most texting while driving offenses a misdemeanor in Indiana. First offenders will be cited for a Class C misdemeanor, while a Class A misdemeanor applies if the violator has an unrelated offense within five years. If however, bodily harm or death results, texting while driving would be a felony. Provides that text messaging may constitute as a qualifying event for a habitual traffic violator determination, also bringing felonies into play. In Committee on Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters. (Lanane)

2010 cell phone, texting legislation notes
Only three tickets have been written under the teenage distracted driving law of 2009, according to the Courier-Journal. The newspaper calls for a broad ban on handheld cell phone use while driving, which would end the complication of police having to determine a driver’s age before pulling him or her over.

Rep. Joe Pearson, D-Hartford City, saw his HB 1279 approved unanimously (11-0) by the Committee on Public Policy on Jan. 28.

State Sen. Travis Holdman has filed SB 18, which would prohibit all Indiana drivers from text messaging while behind the wheel. Holdman, whose distracted driving limits on teens went into effect July 1, said constituents and traffic safety experts urged him to prohibit state motorists from texting while driving. “As texting-type tasks continue to grow in popularity we have to use what resources are available to help reduce the amount of crashes and fatalities on our roads,” Holdman said in a statement announcing the Indiana text messaging legislation on Oct. 29.

Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, seeks strict penalties for texting while driving with his SB 111. “My bill likens it to drunk driving or something like it,” Lanane said. “If there is a harsher penalty, then maybe drivers will take the law more seriously.”

A New Albany plan to ban text messaging and handheld cell phone use is losing steam. City Councilman Steve Price is pushing for the distracted driving ordinance, but says he’ll go along with just a ban on texting. The city’s safety committee will meet on the issue at some point.

2009 legislation (dead):
SB 16 prohibits a driver under 18 from using a telecommunications device. Approved by the Senate and House, and returned to the Senate on April 15 for approval of House amendments. Signed into law May 7 and became effective July 1. (Holdman)

SB 80 would prohibit cell phone use for drivers under 18 unless a hands-free accessory is employed. (Kruse)

HB 1242 would prohibit motorists from using hand-held phones. Drivers with probationary licenses also prohibited from also using hands-free cell phone set-ups. (Summers)

HB 1699 would prohibit drivers under the age of 18 from using hand-held mobile phone. (Robertson)

Previous Indiana legislation notes:

The teenage driving limits legislation (SB 16) was approved by the House Roads and Transportation committee in a unanimous vote on April 1, 2009. Senate approval came Feb. 5. The House OK’d the cell phone-texting bill with amendments on April 15.

Rep. Vanessa Summers, D-Indianapolis, has filed cell phone-related bills such as 2009′s HB 1242 repeatedly, without success. She voted against SB 16 on April 15, telling fellow legislators: “Shame on you all for not doing something for yourself that you’re asking your children not to do” (banning cell phones for all drivers).

The debate over teen texting and driving understandably has been intensified after the March 21 death of Indiana college student Brittiany R. Phillips, 21, of Muncie. She had been sending and received text messages in the moments before she crashed into a tree.

Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, hopes that once his teen driver legislation SB 80 has a hearing, it would be modified to include more rules and drivers. Kruse was inspired to author the bill after he lost control of his vehicle while on a cell phone, and ended up in a ditch. “Studies aren’t overly convincing that cell phone use is more distracting than drivers who put on makeup in the car or have dogs in the front seat with them or lean over to get something off the floor,” Kruse said. “But, there is definitely a distraction.” Kruse’s bill seeks primary enforcement status for the cell phone driving law.

Rep. Summers noted in the 2008 session: “In the seconds it takes you to dial a 10-digit number you can look up and be in the back of someone. Every year it amazes me you guys don’t get it.” “Several committee members expressed concern that there are no data to show this is a problem,” the Journal Gazette reported of the cell phone legislation.

South Bend has banned the use of cell phones in school districts. First offenses bring $75 fines, second, $125, and subsequent violations $250.

The South Bend Tribune said the city didn’t go far enough with the ban on cell phoning and driving in school zones: “In the end, will it really be safer with drivers strategizing how to get in the last word before they hit a school zone? Or making that follow-up call 30 seconds later?” It called for a citywide ban and, better, a statewide ban.

Monroe County has banned the sending of email and text messages while behind the wheel. The ordinance went into effect Jan. 1, 2009. A sheriff’s deputy died in a texting related accident in October 2008. Enforcement does not extend to Bloomington.

Background: A legislative study committee on Oct. 14 approved draft legislation that seeks more limits on teenage drivers, including a ban on cell phone use without a hands-free device. Sen. Tom Wyss, R-Fort Wayne, the bill’s sponsor and chairman of the Interim Study Committee on Learner’s Permits and Graduated Driver’s Licenses, will introduce the teen-driving legislation for the 2009 session. Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, will push for that new legislation. Wyss proposed a similar bill in the 2008 session, but it was stripped of meaningful provisions before fizzling out. The study group also OK’d a separate plan to ban the use of cell phones and texting devices by bus drivers and others with public chauffeur licenses, the Indiana Star reported.

Comments

  1. john r. hasse says:

    I had several close calls with cell phone drivers. One had a smoke in one hand a can drink the other and the phone under her chin trying to make a turn. Oh at a stop light. Young girl pass me laughing not even thinking about there driving. Hand free cell are fine with me. The old rule you can’t do two things well at one time. I am totally disabled and i don’t need any more pain by someone talking when they should be driving. thanks john hasse

  2. I think cellphones need to be banned while driving people that use there cell phones while driving don’t pay attention and this has been a proven fact we need to have the hands free law I don’t understand why Indiana isn’t passing this law? It is bad enough when you have teenagers out there driving and think they are invincible and are able to text and dial a 10 digit number all while driving. All these other states who have passed this law my hats off to them for making there roads safer to be on!

  3. I think cell phones should be banned not only for teenagers but for anyone. Yes drivers do need their cell phones, but only for emergencies. I’ve seen bus drivers and semi truck drivers on their cell phones, and it scares me when I drive, because I have to think are they going to pay attention if they move over and I would be right next to them and they don’t see me.

  4. I really think that we should ban useage of celluar phones while driving unless you are using a hands free device. And also I think that there should be enforcement on this, hopefully better than the seat belt enforcement. I see so many people driving with cell phones to there ear and trying to multi-task while driving. I really am concern about the bus and truck drivers using them. I have seen videos of truck drivers steering with elbows while trying to text or talk on the phone. Very scary when you see a bus driver trying to make a turn with one hand and a cell phone in the other. The restriction on teens should be set also I see so many accidents involving teens while talking on the cell phone. Why is it that other states have had this law for several years, it seems Indiana is always afraid to make a change, We need a law or have signs posted on roads and highways “Hand up your cell phone and drive!”

  5. Greg Patrick says:

    I think it should be banned nationwide except for hands free or speaker phone use and it should allow you to to a button to answer it and to hang it up. All other cell phone driving bans should be eliminated.

  6. ian rider says:

    i would have to agree with every one, ( the usage of a cellular-

    elctronic device) impedes one’s functioning abilities!!!

    i would disagree with all the hyperbole on ( banning cell phone

    usage ) if one does not have the hands free bluetooth parifaneli!!

    my rationale may seem unlogical & unrealistic….

    i believe that it is my right to own and operate a cell phone while

    operating a vehicle, why do i believe this ? well i think that

    when we give up our RIGHTS as AMERICAN’S there is no going

    back. how every i am in favor of some type of fine one must pay if

    one has caused personal-property damage. obviously the fine

    would have to be high enough to discourage, this type of poor

    judgement from continuing.

    this is how i see the matter as of now

    i am 15 years old so i will have alot of time to reanalysis my logic & opinion

  7. The State of Indiana is not trying to take away anyone’s rights. They’re just trying to make it safer out on the roads for drivers. But it shouldn’t be just for drivers under the age of 18, it should be for any and all drivers on our roads. There are people over the age of 18 who are just as irresponsible. The law should be for everyone.

  8. Dottie Quillin says:

    I was just reading through all these comments and strongly agree that this is a law that needs to be passed. It definitely should not be just for teenagers, but for EVERYONE. Look up the statistics. Texting while driving is worse than when a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol by 91%. It is impossible, no matter how good you think you are, to do these two things and have control of your potential moving, lethal weapon.

    Ian, I know you are very young, but just as drunk driving or driving while under the influence is not a legal right, neither should texting be one seeing as how it can be more dangerous than either of those two things. Think about it.

  9. How is protecting the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists restricting “our RIGHTS as AMERICANS”? Common courtesy for people (outside one person’s bubble) should be a consideration. Since most teenage drivers are in a probationary period for their first six months or year of driving (for a reason), should they be doing all they can to learn the rules of the road first before trying to drive and having a cell phone conversation or texting. Personally, I think taking the driver’s test first as a teen and then never again until one’s eyesight fails is the wrong approach. People can easily forget what they learned in driver’s ed when all they cared about was passing the road test. What about all of those people in their 20′s through 60′s who could benefit from learning the rules of the road again.

  10. Tanya Revell says:

    I think this should apply for EVERYONE. And, what is the penalty for the teenage that gets caught.
    Also, can they use a bluetooth, or, is that not applicable?
    I know it says “handsfree”, but anything is distracting.
    Thanks!

  11. Felicia Precht says:

    I completely agree with this law. I also agree that adults shouldn’t use cell phones while driving. Adults are just as likely to get into a wreck when they are handling cellphones. But I also think that the radio is distrtcting too. Whats next, are they going to take that away too? Everything is a distraction from driving. You as a person has to decide what is too much of a distraction for yourself and get rid of that distration. It is part of being responsible enough to drive.
    I am 17 years old and I live in a small town, so when something happens that is big, it affects everyone. Think of someone besides yourself. How would feel if you took someone else’s life because you were to cocky to put your phone away? I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.

  12. i wouldnt mind the whole hands free thing either. have seen wrecks caused by people on the cell phone

  13. Deborah Tressler says:

    I will vote for ANYONE that manages to pass a total “hands free” driving law in Indiana — for ALL, not just teenagers! It has become a war zone on the highways, and I’m lucky to make it home alive every day after work! If we get that kind of law passed, there is no doubt that our annual fatalities would go down, plus we may get some additional federal funding for our state if we adopt that law.

  14. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to the perceived problem, which in fact, is not so much drivers using cell phones, as driving while distracted. For every driver who cannot safely use a cell phone (with or without a hands-free device) while driving, there are others who can and do. Conversely, many accidents occur with no cell phone involvement whatsoever. Individual drivers have different strengths and weaknesses, different intelligence levels, different abilities, different situations.

    If we must pass legislation to control what ALL drivers do inside their own cars while driving, should we then outlaw adjusting the radio or heater controls? Should we also outlaw eating and drinking? Should we outlaw drivers smoking? Talking? How about outlawing children fighting in the back seat of a moving vehicle while we’re at it? Where does it end?

    This country was founded on the principles of maintaining personal freedoms. When did we become so complacent about defending those freedoms that we would actually entertain the idea of losing them willingly? We must not allow ourselves to become so dependent on the government telling us what to do or what not to do that we cannot be trusted to think for ourselves and act responsibly on our own volition. Personal responsibility and common sense should never be subject to legislation.

  15. To the 15 year old that talked about giving up our rights by not being able to use cell phones while driving. I’m 19 and I agree that cell phones shouldn’t be used while driving, it’s dangerous. I know you’re a younger driver, but once you’ve been driving for a few years you’ll see just how dangerous it is. I’m not trying to scare you or anything like that. But think about this: what if you are texting while driving, not paying attention to the road and end up hitting a van and kill the entire family inside? You would then be facing a lot of consequences and would have to live with that on your conscience everyday.

    I think texting can wait until I reach my destination and am out of my car, it’s not worth risking your life and other lives as well.

  16. My mobile phone IS my GPS unit! If a mobile phone GPS unit cannot be used, then neither should GPS units be allowed! This needs some serious thought and definition. What is the essential difference between using an iPod to dial in a Pandora station and texting? Or operating a GPS vs. a radio?

    Human life is fragile, but to live as a human is essential. A “Brilliant” lawmaker on the news tonight said “We have to give up freedoms for safety”! Ben Franklin said those who give up freedom for safety will soon have neither.” Fact is, life is not forever. There will be deaths from many of our actions. Should that rule our lives? Think about it.

  17. Great article on the dangers of texting while driving. Former American Idol champion Jordin Sparks and the Jonas Brothers are working together in a campaign called “X the TXT” aimed at curbing distracted teen driving deaths.

  18. I support the ban. Both phone, email, text, Fecebook or watching DVDs they are all distracting. . Texting is an easy target because of it’s dominance but all these things have compounded the drivers distracted environment. If not the ban then put severe teeth in the penalties if you impinge upon someone else’s right to life and liberty such that people will think twice before texting. I am one in preference of trying to avoid harm upon another if possible but if we can’t achieve a safer society then at least have the punishment serve as a deterant. I also have a question of defining driving. If you are stopped at a red light, can you text? Is it whenever you are in the car or only when moving.

  19. David P Sykora says:

    maybe the state should teach the law enforcement officers about this so they stop harassing the drivers for having hands free devices on.

  20. I’m 37 yrs old and I often spend 3+ hours a day driving for work and while I admit phone use can be a distraction in any form I say there is a big difference in using your phone in Indy with traffic signals every block and on a rural highway with no town and maybe only 5 cars within 2 miles of you. This is just the normal overreaction we expect from lawmakers who would rather get money pulling over people they see using their phone on the road instead of what they should do and simply charge people with reckless driving and stiffer fines and penalties if they are using (texting/talking/whatever) the phone when stopped for any other reason.

  21. K Roberts says:

    My cousin was killed in a horrible car accident due to cell phone usage while driving. She was 23 years old and left behind a 2 year old little girl and a 5 year old little boy. I believe this law is great, but cell phone use all together while driving needs to be banned! My family and I have already done a story on the news about the dangers of cell phone use while driving, and we are not stopping there. I am planning on sharing the story of my cousin Michelle Dawn Clark-Wright as much as possible.

  22. B Chevrier says:

    If your gonna ban cell phones for distracting drivers then you need to ban everything else as well. Women puttin on makeup, workers runnin late stuffing breakfast sandwiches in their mouths, or drinking their Starbucks coffee, hell ban radios cause people have to reach over to change a station or a cd!

  23. L. Penn says:

    I am DEFINITELY in AGREEMENT with everyone who stated that Indiana should pass the law on banning hand-held cell phone usage while driving. I’ve driven by lots of people that have their cell phones in hand while driving and not paying attention to anything around them. My father was in an accident with someone that hit him from behind because she was on her cellphone and admitted she was not paying attention

    Cell phones are a distraction while you are driving — please Indiana legislators reconsider and pass the law banning all usage unless you have a hands free device. New York and New Jersey have this law in place and it is seen on all billboards and street signs.

  24. Kelley Likes says:

    It’s about time. I’m in the road alot and I cannot telll you how many people are distracted for so many reasons because of cell phone use while driving. Now, how do I become deputized in order to help the police with their efforts to stop people from breaking this law?

  25. Delbert Dunbar says:

    I have no disogreament of the distraction law, But if you are going to make a distraction law then make it a one for and all for one law.
    What I mean is if you are going to make it a law for me to not have a phone up to my ear or texting or reading a book then it should also be a law for the law inforcement also.Because I see police officers driving and talking on the phone or tiping on there computers while driving and you can’t tell me that thay are any better drivers than aneyone else out here. I thank it is not a bad law but agin If you are going to fine everyone else for talking on the cell phone or texting or reading books then make shure the law inforcement be fined also.

  26. YES, it’s dangerous to text in the car, and nobody should do it, but when are our legislators going to realize you cannot legislate human behavior. They are trying to take care of something through LEGISLATION and PUNISHMENT that can only be effective through education. Now in this new law we have the result of a generation of kids without critical thinking skills who are making rules for a state. They should go back to watching Mr. Rogers.

  27. I got pulled over and fined for “texting” while dirving today… the kicker.. I wasn’t texting. Second kicker… I hadn’t heard this new law until today. I don’t have T.V so I don’t watch the news and I don’t read the paper. Any how…. A cop can pull you over CLAIM you were texting and you get a ticket. And what about the phones that have talk to text on them? Thats hands free right? Anyway I’ve NEVER had a ticket until now and for something I DIDN’T do!

  28. you know if you think before you dial you may not be distracted there are things like common sence . the cell phone is an ingenius idea and if used right can shorten a # dialed ever hear of speed dialing open phone push one no. for who ever you set it up for and walabing you have your contact with the push of one number the # 2 for example could be your spouse or you sister ,brother etc the no. one cause of wrecks isn’t just distracted driving, but more not using defensive driving skills like keeping your following distance not tailgating the vehicle in front of you not cutting other drivers off or hitting your brakes because you think the person behind you is to close to you.

    we need more serious driving habits not more laws be compassionate to other drivers and use common sense if you need to make a call that requires more than speed dia l- 10 no’s or more, pull over do it then return to the road road rage is the big culprit not cell phone use texing yes i understand that one because you take your eyes off the road to often but just talking on the phone come on

  29. My family drove several hours over the holiday thru five states, using our cell phone(s) for navigation the entire time, to confirm reservations, to take calls from “Mom” who asked how we were doing, and to call businesses along the way. In a straight patch with no cars around, or stopped altogether, the driver would ‘read’ the navigation or speak on the phone. All the other times, the passenger would help direct turns, take the calls, and respond to text/email. I would hope that no law is passed that jeopardizes us from repeating the use of our cell phones to be used for navigation, making calls to confirm addresses, and reservations, and taking calls from concerned “Mom” in the 2012 vacation trips.

  30. N Tabacchi says:

    I have been visiting in Indiana for a month. Most of the time I have only walked to places I need to be. My state (OR/WA) does not allow handheld cell phones in cars. Some motorists, even knowing they can be ticketed, still use them. However, here in Indiana, about every other car driver is on a phone. Outrageous! Please pass a law and enforce it when and where possible. Cell phones are as dangerous as drunk driving why should it take so long to get the message across about not using them while driving?? I do not like having another law, but seems people do not use common sense about cell phone use. Indiana certainly needs more sidewalks and intersection crosswalks in the outer areas; like Casselton area.

  31. i dont understand. everyone still breaks the law.

  32. Al Cinamon says:

    What is so difficult to understand? We are a nation of laws and a nation of lawbreakers. Drivers have no common sense (hence the need for speed bumps and the like). Drivers think they are immortal (like the video games they play where you get to play again after crashing). And, if I may say, drivers are just plain stupid (which is why you see posts proclaiming our “freedom” and “right” to take risks even if it endangers other. If someone gets in my way while I’m texting, well, it’s just too bad for them.. It was probably their fault for getting in my way in the first place).

    Now does it all make sense?

  33. Chris Zeis says:

    First of all, cell phones can be dangerous but so can eating, putting on makeup, talking to passengers etc. so to ban the use of cell phones would not be fair to the people that do pay attention. I understand people not paying attention but its not just cell phone usage that people are distracted from. I have even been distracted by my GPS because I’ve been in a new place and don’t know my way around so I have to rely on my GPS and end up driving slow and holding up traffic but not on purpose. I would say that under a certain age should be banned from using it because usually younger, inexperienced drivers are the ones who don’t pay attention.

  34. Chris, to me the point is none of the distractions should have to be banned or made illegal; however, people don’t know how to ignore their phones, GPSs, and other distractions while they are driving. For heaven’s sake, I learned in driver’s training that even talking while driving is a distraction. If people were more self aware and had their’s and other peoples lives in mind, they would not do anything AT ALL while driving except keep their mind and eyes on traffic. … I live near where a beloved high school teacher was killed while riding his bike home. A student was texting when he hit him. No one has the ability to drive safely while using a cell phone (hands free or otherwise). The other point being, in my state and many others cell phone use is illegal.

  35. It’s simple. Common sense. If you can’t keep full attention on the road while doing anything then just don’t do it. Personally, after driving for a few years and going on being twenty, I’ve seen people of all ages failing at safely driving because they are DISTRACTED — that means anything that keeps them from driving safely. Use a hands free device for your phone. Pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t have your god forsaken hands on the phone because it’s going to kill you if you don’t send a text. There is modern technology for voice messaging.

    If you can’t do something safely behind the wheel, say like eating, then get where you need to go a few minutes early, park the car and eat your food or drink your coffee, do anything with your phone. Never take your eyes off the road. And don’t drive like an idiot. Your affecting hundreds of other people, pedestrians, other drivers, their families and yours by doing it.

  36. Al Cinamon says:

    Ryan, I guess you didn’t read what I posted on April 11. You make it sound so simple because it’s common sense. The fatal flaw in your argument is that drivers don’t have common sense. That’s why we need speed bumps, red light cameras, school crossing guards, gates at railroad crossings, barrels of sand at highway exits just to mention a few. Try to understand that these devices are needed to force people to drive responsibly since they can’t or won’t do it on their own.

  37. @connie: no one has ever proven anything of the sort about cellphones.
    @wendy: when you have a passenger in your car do you sit in silence? That’s what I thought.
    @greg: it has never been established that driving with only one hand imparts less control than two.
    @everyone else: I can drive and talk on my phone safely because I’m able to calculate risk and know what the priorities are behind the wheel. If you can’t, then you should stop. Cell phones don’t cause accidents. People that make poor/negligent decisions do. Teach your children o they don’t grow up to be dumbasses that endanger reasonable people’s liberty.

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