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Statewide Ban on Texting and Driving Takes Effect July 1

May 12, 2011

05/13/11 Beginning July 1, it will be illegal for any Hoosier driver to text while behind the wheel. 

Yesterday Governor Mitch Daniels signed legislation that prohibits the use of any telecommunications device to type, transmit, or read text messages or e-mail while operating a moving motor vehicle. Drivers are however permitted to use hands free or voice operated technology to perform these functions. 

As a primary enforcement law, police will now be able to ticket a driver solely on the basis of texting while driving.  Offenders could also face a fine of up to $500. 

“Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to be involved in a collision serious enough to cause injury,” said Ryan Klitzsch, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Traffic Safety Division Director. “This legislation is an important step in our efforts to ensure the safety of all Hoosier motorists,” he continued. 

Driver distractions accounted for more than 7,800 collisions on Indiana roadways in 2009. In fact, distracted driving crashes cost the state $257.5 million dollars in that year alone.