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Distracted Driving Laws by State

Laws about texting and driving, cell phone bans, and hands-free vary by state. In some cases, there is little to no law in place (ex: Montana). In most states, however, there is at least some type of law in place regarding texting and driving.

A big difference to call out is whether a state enforces the law as a primary or secondary offense.

As you can imagine, a law regarding cell phone use that is a secondary offense is difficult to enforce. Some call these “toothless” laws because they have no bite. We see this as progress, but with more work to be done.

Below is a scorecard of all US states and their progress towards meaningful distracted driving laws as of 2018


Primary Law Primary Law in Place
Restricted or Secondary Law Restricted or Secondary Law in Place
No Law No Law in Place

Want to Help Your State?

There are 100’s of individuals and groups pushing common sense legislation about cell phone use in cars – and they can use your help! Join the conversation below and follow what you can do in your state to help get these bills passed.

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StateText Messaging Ban
(All Drivers)
Hand-held Ban
(All Drivers)
Cell Phone Ban
(School Bus Drivers)
Cell Phone Ban
(Novice Drivers)
AlabamaPrimary LawNo LawNo LawPrimary Law
AlaskaPrimary LawNo LawNo LawNo Law
ArizonaRestricted or Secondary LawNo LawPrimary LawNo Law
ArkansasPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary LawRestricted or Secondary Law
CaliforniaPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary LawRestricted or Secondary Law
ColoradoPrimary LawNo LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
ConnecticutPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
DelawarePrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
District of ColumbiaPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
FloridaRestricted or Secondary LawNo LawNo LawNo Law
GeorgiaPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
GuamPrimary LawPrimary LawNo LawNo Law
HawaiiPrimary LawPrimary LawNo LawPrimary Law
IdahoPrimary LawNo LawNo LawNo Law
IllinoisPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
IndianaPrimary LawNo LawNo LawPrimary Law
IowaPrimary LawNo LawNo LawPrimary Law
KansasPrimary LawNo LawNo LawPrimary Law
KentuckyPrimary LawNo LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
LouisianaPrimary LawRestricted or Secondary LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
MainePrimary LawNo LawNo LawPrimary Law
MarylandPrimary LawPrimary LawNo LawPrimary Law
MassachusettsPrimary LawNo LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
MichiganPrimary LawNo LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
MinnesotaPrimary LawNo LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
MississippiPrimary LawNo LawPrimary LawNo Law
MissouriPrimary LawNo LawNo LawNo Law
MontanaNo LawNo LawNo LawNo Law
NebraskaRestricted or Secondary LawNo LawNo LawRestricted or Secondary Law
NevadaPrimary LawPrimary LawNo LawNo Law
New HampshirePrimary LawPrimary LawNo LawPrimary Law
New JerseyPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
New MexicoPrimary LawRestricted or Secondary LawNo LawPrimary Law
New YorkPrimary LawPrimary LawNo LawNo Law
North CarolinaPrimary LawNo LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
North DakotaPrimary LawNo LawNo LawPrimary Law
OhioRestricted or Secondary LawNo LawNo LawPrimary Law
OklahomaPrimary LawPrimary LawNo LawNo Law
OregonPrimary LawPrimary LawNo LawPrimary Law
PennsylvaniaPrimary LawNo LawNo LawNo Law
Puerto RicoPrimary LawPrimary LawNo LawNo Law
Rhode IslandPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
South CarolinaPrimary LawNo LawNo LawNo Law
South DakotaRestricted or Secondary LawNo LawNo LawRestricted or Secondary Law
TennesseePrimary LawRestricted or Secondary LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
TexasPrimary LawNo LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
UtahPrimary LawNo LawPrimary LawPrimary Law
VermontPrimary LawPrimary LawNo LawPrimary Law
Virgin IslandsPrimary LawPrimary LawNo LawNo Law
VirginiaPrimary LawNo LawPrimary LawRestricted or Secondary Law
WashingtonPrimary LawPrimary LawNo LawPrimary Law
West VirginiaPrimary LawPrimary LawNo LawPrimary Law
WisconsinPrimary LawNo LawNo LawPrimary Law
WyomingPrimary LawNo LawNo LawNo Law

Community Discussion About Your State’s Laws

Use the discussion board below to post information about new bills being introduced in your state’s legislation. Be sure to tag @TextNinja and include any important details we can help share.



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