Phones Down While Driving, Indiana

As of July 1, 2020, those operating a moving motor vehicle in the Hoosier state are prohibited from holding a cell phone.

House Bill 1070, effective July 1, 2020, amends Indiana Code § 9-21-8-59 so as to prohibit an individual from holding or using a telecommunications device, including phones, pagers and other text messaging devices, while operating a moving motor vehicle. This amendment expands the previous ban on “using” a telecommunications device, which was defined as typing, transmitting or reading a text message or email.Now, any activity that involves a driver holding a phone is prohibited while the driver is operating a “motor vehicle,” which includes most any self-propelled vehicle other than an electric foot scooter.

Indiana Code § 9-21-8-59(b) and (c) provide two exceptions to this general rule. First, a telecommunications device may be used in conjunction with hands-free or voice-operated technology. Additionally, a telecommunications device may be held and used to call 911 to report an emergency.

Failure to follow the law will result in a ticket with fines of up to $500; however, officers may not, without your consent, confiscate the device to determine compliance with the law or retain it as evidence of violation of the law.

Please contact an attorney at Barrett McNagny with any questions regarding these new restrictions. Most importantly, stay safe!

About the Author:

Evan M. Wild assists clients with business formation and entity selection, corporate governance and compliance matters. He works with businesses of all sizes with transactional matters, mergers and acquisitions. He can be reached at (260) 423-8912 or at emw@barrettlaw.com

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