A State By State Overview of Distracted Cell Phone Driving Violation Laws

A State By State Overview of Distracted Cell Phone Driving Violation Laws

A State By State Overview of Distracted Cell Phone Driving Violation Laws

  A State By State Overview of Distracted Cell Phone Driving Violation Laws

You must be well aware of the fact that driving while using your cellphone for communication purpose is considered a traffic violation and as a result you might find yourself at the wrong side of the law. Yes, the dangers of distracted driving are extremely high and they are just intensified when the distraction is caused due to a cellphone conversation. This has prompted most states along with the federal government to pass laws for violation of the same. Here is a detailed overview of the same:


The Violation and Its Classification


Things as simple as holding the cellphone in your hand at the time of driving can get you in trouble if the police officer thinks that you were using it. The office can issue you a driving and traffic violation ticket for the same. Here are the two ways your violation can be classified:

Primary Violation 

Some states consider the violation wherein you are caught using a cellphone while driving as a primary violation. According to this classification is doesn’t matter whether or not you have violated any additional traffic law while using the cellphone and a ticket can be issued right away.

Secondary Violation

The secondary classification of the cell phone violation, which has been implemented by a handful of states, considers the usage of cellphone as a violation if and only if you break any additional traffic law while using it. If you skip a signal while using your cellphone, you will be issued tickets for both the violations. If you don’t violate any traffic law while using the cellphone while driving, you go Scott-free!

States with Primary Violation Classification

The following states consider usage of a handheld cellphone during driving as a primary violation and you will be issued a ticket right away:

  1. California
  2. Connecticut
  3. New Jersey
  4. District of Columbia including Washington D.C.
  5. New York

Washington State is the only jurisdiction to consider cellphone violation as a secondary violation of the law.

In case you have been wondering about the aspect of texting from your cellphone while you are driving, you will be benefiting from knowing that specific bans on texting exist in the states of New Jersey and Washington State. Other states might or might not prosecute texting as a cellphone usage traffic violation as it clearly distracts you from the job of driving.

There are a number of states which have trued the local authorities to implement their own violation classification for the cellphone usage during driving. These are:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Illinois
  3. Ohio
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Michigan
  6. New Mexico


Come what may and whatever might be the law of the land, it is recommended that you revert from usage of the cellphone for any purpose while you are at the steering wheel. No matter how urgent a piece of conversation is, it is never more important than your life and safety, is it?

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.