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.
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