Indiana law prohibiting drivers from holding mobile devices takes effect July 1

No handheld devices
Effective Wednesday, July 1, an Indiana law will prohibit drivers from holding a smartphone or tablet while the vehicle is moving.

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana law that prohibits drivers from holding mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, goes into effect Wed., July 1; however, drivers may continue to use voice-operated or hands-free technology. Officials hope the law will reduce distracted driving and improve safety on the state’s highways.

The law was a key piece of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s 2020 legislative agenda and was approved by the Indiana General Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support. Holcomb signed the measure into law on March 18.

“As drivers, we all have a responsibility to our fellow Hoosiers to limit eye and hand distractions that can result in tragic injuries and deaths,” Holcomb said. “This law is about protecting those who travel our roads and those who build and maintain them by preventing as many crashes as possible through smart education and enforcement.”

Once the law takes effect, drivers on Indiana roads will be prohibited from having a mobile device in their hands while their vehicles are moving, with the exception of dialing 911 in an emergency. The law permits the use of voice-operated or hands-free technology such as speakerphones, Bluetooth or headsets.

“Drivers need to keep their eyes up, hands on the wheel and stay focused on driving to keep everyone on our roads safe,” said Joe McGuinness, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation. “The ‘Hands Free While Driving’ law will save lives by reducing the number of senseless crashes that happen as a result of distracted driving.”

During the first few months after the Hands Free While Driving law goes into effect, Indiana State Police will focus on educating drivers about the new law and the safety benefits of going hands free. Following the initial education campaign, drivers found in violation of the Hands Free While Driving law can be subject to fines. Beginning in July 2021, drivers may also have points assessed against their driver’s licenses for violating the law.

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