House Enrolled Act 1070, Indiana Code 9-21-8-59: A person may not HOLD a telecommunications device while operating a moving motor vehicle.

  • During the 2020 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed a measure to ban hand-held devices while driving. The bill was a key legislative priority for Governor Eric J. Holcomb.
  • The hands-free law went into effect July 1, 2020.
  • The objective is to increase roadway safety in Indiana by updating Indiana’s distracted driving law to require drivers to use hands-free technology when using a telecommunications device behind the wheel.
  • Indiana has had a do not text while driving law since 2011.
  • On average, people who text and drive take their attention away from the road for five seconds at a time, substantially increasing the chances of a serious crash. At 55 miles per hour this is the equivalent of driving a full football field blindfolded.
  • Three independent studies found that crash risk was 2-6 times greater when drivers were manipulating a cellphone versus when they were not.
  • As it sometimes can be difficult to prove after the fact that distracted driving was a cause of a crash, law enforcement officers estimate that far more distracted driving related crashes are telecommunications device related than are reported.
  • Indiana becomes the 22nd state to enact a hands-free while driving law.
  • Of the 15 states and the District of Columbia that had enacted these laws before 2018, 12 saw a decrease in their traffic fatality rates within two years after passing and enforcing their new laws. Two states do not have available data (NHTSA).

What is Allowed:

  • People who are driving may use their device in conjunction with hands-free or voice operated technology.
  • GPS and other map apps are allowed, provided they are being used with hands-free technology.
  • Devices may be used or held to call 911 to report a true emergency.

Consequences for Violation:

  • Violations can result in a Class C infraction.
  • Motorists in violation can be subject to a fine.
  • Starting July 1, 2021, Indiana BMV will begin adding points to records.

Source: Indiana Department of Transportation

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