Driving and Using Mobile Devices
Beginning October 1, 2017, individuals who hold and use a mobile electronic device while driving can be ticketed or fined with a maximum penalty of $2,000.
A mobile electronic device is not permanently installed in a motor vehicle and includes but is not limited to a device capable of text messaging, voice communication, entertainment, navigation, accessing the Internet, or producing electronic mail.
Drivers can use hand-held mobile devices in the following situations as long as the use is within the scope of the person’s employment:
- Drivers employed as a commercial motor vehicle driver or school bus driver if the use is permitted under regulations promulgated pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 31136.
- Two-way radio devices being used to transport forest products or while operating a vehicle to assist in logging operations.
- Two-way radio devices being used while operating a school bus or school activity vehicle.
- Two-way radio devices being used while operating a vehicle owned or contracted by a utility for the purpose of installing, repairing, maintaining, operating or upgrading utility service including but not limited to natural gas, electricity, water, or telecommunications.
- Police officers, firefighters, emergency medical services providers, or those operating an ambulance or emergency vehicle.
It’s important to remember that these exemptions are only permissible if the driver is acting within the scope of their employment. If it is questionable, it is best practice to pull over to use a mobile device or utilize hands-free capability such as Bluetooth.