Cell phone safety—driving home

September 27th, 2013 by admin

These importance these days, it’s hard to find someone who does not have a cell phone. Cell phones can be invaluable for those business professionals who spend a lot of time out of the offi  ce, or for anyone who wants the added peace of mind of knowing they can call for help in an emergency.

Are there laws limiting the use of cell phones while driving?

Connecticut prohibits the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway. Effective Oct. 1, 2013, Connecticut also prohibits the use of cell phones while operating a commercial motor vehicle on a public highway. Hands-free cell phones are permitted, except by individuals holding a learners permit and drivers under 18 years of age.

Also, school bus drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone, including those with hands-free accessories or mobile electronic devices, while driving a school bus, except in emergency situations. A school bus driver in violation faces the same fi nes as all other operators.

Are there laws limiting the use of cell phones or mobile electronic devices for text messaging or transmitting electronic data while driving?

Connecticut prohibits the use of cell phones or mobile electronic devices used to transmit text messages or electronic data while operating a motor vehicle. Eff ective Oct. 1, 2013, it is prohibited to operate a commercial motor vehicle while using cell phones or mobile electronic devices used to transmit text messages.

Mobile electronic devices means any handheld or other portable electronic equipment capable of providing data communication between two or more persons, including a text-messaging device, a paging device, a PDA, a laptop computer, equipment that is capable of playing a video game or digital video disk or equipment on which digital photographs are taken or transmitted.

What penalties could  violators face?

Currently, violators charged for using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle can face a fi ne of up to $100 for the fi rst violation, $150 for a second violation and $200 for a third or subsequent violation

However, eff ective Oct. 1, 2013, these fi nes will increase and violators will face a fi ne of $150 for the fi rst violation, $300 for the second violation and $500 for a third or subsequent violation and will appear on the motor vehicle record of the person in violation.

Familiarize yourself with your phone

Be sure you review all the literature that comes with your phone. Understand how to use its many features—including speed dial, re-dial and hands-free options.

Be aware of your surroundings and road conditions

If you fi nd yourself in hazardous driving conditions—whether traffi  c- or weatherrelated—let your voice-mail system pick up the call. A few minutes of paying attention and pulling over in a safe location, could make a huge diff erence in your safety and the safety of those around you.