Arlington, Virginia – A report by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that Alaska has become the fifth state to ban text messaging by all drivers. The state does not have any ban on hand-held or hands-free telephone use when driving.
A jurisdiction-wide ban on driving while talking on a hand-held cell phone is in place in six states (California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Washington) and the District of Columbia. Utah has named the offense “careless driving”, but no one commits an offense when speaking on a cell phone unless they are also committing some other moving violation, other than speeding.
Localities are allowed to ban cell phone use in Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio and Pennsylvania; localities that have enacted restrictions include Chicago, Detroit and Santa Fe. Localities are prohibited from banning cell phone use in Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah.
A list of states with restrictions on cell phone and text messaging use can be found at IIHS.