Indiana Law Banning Cell Phone Use By Teens While Driving Takes Effect
As of today (July 1st), anyone under the age of 21 seen using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle will be ticketed by authorities.
The new law also includes the use of hands-free devices such as Bluetooth earpieces.
The purpose behind the law is to help reduce the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers (in this case, teens specifically). According to TeenDrivingSource.org, the risk of crashes among teen drivers increases four times over when using a cell phone, regardless of whether of not they're using a hands-free device.
Like any rule (or law in this case), there is an exception. Under-21 drivers using their phones to dial 911 and report an emergency will not be ticketed under the law.
Note to teen drivers: If you get popped driving while on your cell phone, don't tell the officer you were calling 911. They can easily check the call log on your phone.
The cell phone ban isn't the only change taking effect today. The Indiana Legislature also passed what is known as the "Move Over Law" that allows law enforcement to issue a $500 fine to anyone driving slow and impeding traffic in the passing lane of state highways.
The changes also include a drop in the required age to obtain a drivers licence from 16 years and six months, to 16 years and 3 months for those that have completed driver's education courses.