On July 1, 2020, a new Indiana law went into effect that all drivers should be aware of and understand. The use of cell phones and other handheld electronics while driving is now banned, except to call 911. While similar laws have existed for years in over twenty other states, some much more restrictive than others, this law will require an adjustment for some Hoosier drivers. In the best interests of everyone who shares the road, The Bellinger Law Office wants to make sure that residents in Fort Wayne and surrounding communities are aware of the law’s exact restrictions, and the penalties that can be imposed for violating it. Our license restoration attorneys know just how critical driving privileges can be for many people, and our firm is committed to helping keep you on the road safely.
House Bill 1070, sometimes commonly called the “Distracted Driving Law,” was passed by the Indiana legislature and signed into law by the governor in March of 2020. The law states that a driver “may not hold or use a telecommunications device while operating a moving motor vehicle” unless they are calling or speaking with a 911 operator. Bluetooth devices and other voice-operated features that allow for hands-free use are still permitted.
While such cell phone bans for drivers were once a contentious topic, they are now becoming commonplace, and the trend is likely to continue. A recently released study found that states with such bans saw a drop in fatal accidents involving teen drivers, a group often prone to texting and driving.
While the penalties for using a cell phone while driving are not nearly as severe as other infractions, such as drunk driving charges, they still need to be taken seriously. A violation of the new law can result in a fine ranging from $25 to $500, depending on the local prosecutor handling the case. In addition, being pulled over for cell phone use could lead to other potential fines or traffic violations for drivers who are careless or distracted.
Evidence has indicated that distracted driving laws such as the one Indiana has enacted can help reduce the rates of fatal accidents. The Bellinger Law Office has seen just how devastating car accident injuries can be, and we strongly support measures to better protect our residents and neighbors. But as laws change, well-intended drivers may be caught off guard, and end up in a tough spot.
If you’ve been charged with a serious traffic violation, or your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked, our team may be able to help. We know how difficult it can be to keep your life running smoothly without the ability to drive, and how difficult it can be to get your license back in Indiana. We’ve helped hundreds of Fort Wayne residents restore their driving privileges, including CDL drivers. To learn more, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.