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TIPS: Cheat Sheet—State Cell Phone Driving Laws

Talking while driving

Talking while driving by Ed Yourdon

One quick way to blow your vacation budget is to get a ticket for talking or texting on your cell phone while driving in a state that prohibits it. The non-profit Governors Highway Safety Association has compiled a comprehensive list of restrictions, but here’s a cheat sheet on what you need to know before your summer vacation.

Mind you, this list doesn’t mean we endorse phoning or texting while driving. It’s always better to keep your full attention on the road. — Hilary Solan

States that fully or partially ban talking on handheld devices while driving

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois (by jurisdiction—check before you travel)
  • Massachusetts (by jurisdiction—check before you travel)
  • Michigan (by jurisdiction—check before you travel)
  • New Jersey (by jurisdiction—check before you travel)
  • New Mexico (by jurisdiction—check before you travel)
  • New York
  • Ohio (by jurisdiction—check before you travel)
  • Pennsylvania (by jurisdiction—check before you travel)
  • Utah (could be covered under state wreckless driving laws)
  • Virgin Islands
  • Washington state

States that fully or partially ban texting on handheld devices while driving

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas (effective in October)
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland (also effective in October)
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • Tennessee (effective in July)
  • Utah
  • Virginia (also effective in July)
  • Washington state