|Laws restricting cellphone use and texting|
|State||Hand-held ban||Texting ban||Enforcement|
|Arizona||no||no||secondary (effective 06/30/18)|
|Arkansas||drivers 18 or older but younger than 21; school and highway work zones||all drivers||primary; secondary|
|California||all drivers||all drivers||primary; secondary|
|Connecticut||all drivers||all drivers||primary|
|Delaware||all drivers||all drivers||primary|
|DC||all drivers||all drivers||primary|
|Hawaii||all drivers||all drivers||primary|
|Illinois||all drivers||all drivers||primary|
|Louisiana||drivers in signed school zones; re: novice drivers, see footnote3||all drivers||primary3|
|Maryland||all drivers||all drivers||primary|
|Missouri||no||drivers 21 and younger||primary|
|Nevada||all drivers||all drivers||primary|
|New Hampshire||all drivers||all drivers||primary|
|New Jersey||all drivers||all drivers||primary|
|New Mexico||no||all drivers||primary|
|New York||all drivers||all drivers||primary|
|North Carolina||no||all drivers||primary|
|North Dakota||no||all drivers||primary|
|Ohio||no||all drivers||primary for drivers younger than 18; secondary for texting|
|Oklahoma||learner’s permit and intermediate license holders||all drivers||primary|
|Oregon||all drivers5||all drivers||primary|
|Rhode Island||all drivers (effective 06/01/18)||all drivers||primary|
|South Carolina||no||all drivers||primary|
|South Dakota||no||all drivers||secondary|
|Tennessee||drivers in marked school zones(effective 01/01/18)||all drivers||primary|
|Texas||State; Local Ordinances||all drivers||primary|
|Vermont||all drivers||all drivers||primary|
|Virginia||no||all drivers||primary; secondary for drivers younger than 18|
|Washington||all drivers7||all drivers7||primary|
|West Virginia||all drivers||all drivers||primary|
|Wisconsin||drivers in highway construction areas||all drivers||primary|
1The laws in Arkansas and California prohibit police from stopping a vehicle to determine if a driver is in compliance with the law. The language prohibits the use of checkpoints to enforce the law, but it has been interpreted as the functional equivalent of secondary provisions that typically state the officer may not stop someone suspected of a violation unless there is other, independent, cause for a stop.
2California drivers who are 18 and older may dictate, send or listen to text-based messages if they’re using voice-activated, hands-free devices.
3In Louisiana, all learner’s permit holders, irrespective of age, and all intermediate license holders are prohibited from driving while using a hand-held cellphone. All drivers younger than 18 are prohibited from using any cellphone. All drivers, irrespective of age, issued a first driver’s license are prohibited from using a cellphone for one year. The cellphone ban is secondary for novice drivers ages 18 and older.
4In Oklahoma, learner’s permit and intermediate license holders are banned from using a hand-held electronic device while operating a motor vehicle except in life-threatening emergencies.
5In Oregon, drivers may not hold a personal electronic device in either hand or both hands while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays, effective October 1, 2017.
6In 2007, Utah defined careless driving as committing a moving violation (other than speeding) while distracted by use of a handheld cellphone or other activities not related to driving. IIHS reported this as the functional equivalent of a secondary law. In 2012, Utah’s law was modified to specify that a person is not prohibited from using a handheld wireless device while operating a moving motor vehicle when making or receiving a telephone call. In 2014, Utah again amended its law by removing the act of talking on a hand-held phone from the section describing careless driving. In addition, the most recent iteration bans drivers from dialing a hand-held phone and caps the maximum fine at $100 for a first offense provided the offender inflicted no bodily harm.
7In Washington, drivers may not hold a personal electronic device in either hand or both hands while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays, effective July 23, 2017.