States that Ban Hand-held Devices

 

cell phoneIntrastate Operations . . .

Do you know the U.S. jurisdictions that ban the use of use of hand-held devices while driving? No?

Well, here they are:

California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, *Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

*The Georgia House Bill 673 also known as the “Hands Free Law” went into effect on July 1, 2018.

A “wireless telecommunications device” is defined as a cellular telephone, a portable telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, a stand-alone computer, a global positioning system receiver or substantially similar portable wireless device that is used to initiate or receive communication, information or data.

Specifically:

Under the new law in Georgia, any person operating a motor vehicle is prohibited from:

(1) Physically holding or supporting, with any part of his or her body a wireless telecommunications device (except when using an earpiece, headphone device, or device worn on a wrist to conduct voice-based communication) or stand-alone electronic device;

(2) Writing, sending, or reading any text based communication, including a text message, instant message, e-mail, or Internet data on a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device. This prohibition does not apply to a voice-based communication which is automatically converted by a device to be sent as a message in a written form, or to a device used for navigation or global positioning system purposes;

(3) Watching a video or movie on a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device other than watching data related to the navigation of such vehicle; or

(4) Recording or broadcasting a video on a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device (except for electronic devices used for the sole purpose of continuously recording or broadcasting video within or outside of the motor vehicle).

Note: anyone making or uploading videos for YouTube using a handheld telecommunication device or other digital recorder while driving would be in violation. And, of course, watching a movie on a cell phone while driving is a major no-no.

COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATORS

1.    Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators can only use one button to begin or end a phone call
2.    Cannot reach for a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device that it no longer requires the driver to be a seated position or properly restrained by a safety belt

The only exceptions are emergencies and reporting hazards, and use by utility personnel or first responders in the course of their work.

Thank you for reading this.

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John Taratuta, Safety & Risk Engineer, 989-474-9599

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