GREENSBURG – Starting July 1, a new law goes into effect banning drivers in Indiana from holding their cellphones and other electronic devices.
The Indiana State Police estimates roughly 130 lives could be saved each year due to this new law. By eliminating distractions, drivers can make the roads safer for everyone.
State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) wants constituents in his area to be aware of the change.
“Through this new law I supported, drivers can no longer hold a cellphone while driving unless using hands-free technology or calling 911 in emergencies,” Frye said. “Using hands-free accessories and voice-activation are not violations because the new law is intended to keep devices out of our hands while our cars are in motion. Phones can also be held by drivers who are stopped at a traffic light, pulled over or parked.”
Frye said distracted driving puts the driver, passengers and others on the road at risk.
“Distractions are the root cause of nine deaths every day in the United States,” he said. “Starting next month, drivers caught violating this law could receive a fine for each infraction. To help drivers adjust their behaviors behind the wheel, they will not receive points against their driver’s licenses for 12 months.”
He added that disengaging ourselves from our electronic devices while driving is the newest behavioral challenge society faces to improving road safety.
AA few decades earlier, seat belt legislation passed to improve driver safety. It took time to change the mindset of drivers. Today, most people put on their seat belts without hesitation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of death by 45% and cuts the risk of serious injury by 50%,” Frye said. “As Indiana continues its Back on Track plan more drivers are returning to the road. Along with watching our speed, driving sober and wearing a seat belt, it is just as important to eliminate distractions, put the phone away and make our roads safer. Let’s be mindful of our actions when we drive. While this new law goes into effect July 1, we can start practicing these safer habits now.”
Frye represents House District 67, which includes all of Ohio and Switzerland counties, as well as portions of Dearborn, Decatur, Jefferson, Jennings and Ripley counties.