Table 2-25: State Laws on Distracted Driving- Ban on Hand-Held Devices and Texting While Driving: As of February 2014

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State AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO Total
Ban on hand-held devices for all drivers       Y Y   Y Y Y     Y   Y             Y            
Ban on texting for all drivers Y Y   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y      
State MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY PR  
Ban on hand-held devices for all drivers     Y   Y   Y         Y                   Y       Y 14
Ban on texting for all drivers   Y Y Y Y   Y Y Y Y   Y Y Y     Y   Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y 43

NOTES

A primary law means that an officer can ticket the driver for the offense without any other traffic violation taking place. A secondary law means an officer can only issue a ticket if a driver has been pulled over for another violation (like speeding).

Hand-held Cell Phone Use: 12 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. Beginning in October 2013, all laws will be primary enforcement.

Text Messaging: Washington was the first state to pass a texting ban in 2007. Currently, primary enforcement is applied to 41 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while second enforcement is applied to 4 states: Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, and Ohio.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, State Laws on Distracted Driving, available at http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/state-laws.html as of Feb. 24, 2014.