A new, stronger law targeting distracted driving goes into effect on July 23, 2017. Texting is already illegal along with holding a cellphone at your ear. Now, the new law states that anyone driving while using a cell phone or other electronic devices is guilty of a traffic infraction. In addition, use of cell phone or device is defined now as:
- Holding a device in either hand
- Using your hands to read, write, or send email, text messages and instant messages
- Taking a picture
- Watching a video
This new law also makes it illegal to use handheld devices while at a stop sign or red-light.
Law enforcement officers can stop drivers if they observe them using electronics (DUIE-Driving Under the Influence of Electronics), and this is now a primary offense. While there are many new illegal actions, the law permits “minimal use of a finger” for uses such as managing a navigation app. Hands free calling and calls to 911 or other emergency services are legal as well.