No More Cell Phones on Federal Highways – New Law Effective 7/1/15.
Beginning July 1st, drivers can no longer use cell phones/handheld devices on federal highways, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced last week.
“The studies are all there. The stories are all there. Cell phones are a risk,” said Foxx. “This bill is another step to help make our roads safer.”
Along with federal and interstate highways, the bill outlaws cell use in federal parks, parking areas for federal buildings, and garages.
Drivers caught talking, texting, browsing, or using apps (including hands-on maps) will be subject to stiff fines up to possible jail time.
The new legislation does allow for the use of hands-free devices including Bluetooth.
“With the acceleration of voice-command phones and device, drivers can put their hands back on the wheels,” Foxx continued. “Drivers have far too many distractions all ready.”
Federal officers are working with state highway patrols to monitor and deliver citations. Foxx detailed various training techniques in use to help officers in observation of distracted drivers.
While many applaud the ban on cell phones, opponents of the bills vowed to keep fighting. “How will a cop know if I am on a phone or just looking at my knee?” shouts 32-year old Luke Austin.
“Pull over,” states Foxx. “If you have to text – If you have to map directions – If you have to tweet, just pull over into a parking lot or a rest area and take care of business.”
The fine is a minimum of $200 for the 1st offense, $500 for the 2nd offense and 6 months in jail for the 3rd offense.