Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in Hawaii

Hawaii has strict laws when it comes to distracted driving and using cell phones while driving. Since July of 2013, texting and using a handheld cell phones is against the law for drivers of all ages. Hawaii’s Department of Health reported that at least 10% of Hawaii’s fatal vehicle accidents were caused by distracted drivers.

In July of 2014, legislatures made a change to the distracted driving law which says that drivers who are stopped at a red light or stop signs cannot use handheld electronic devices, but those who are fully stopped are exempt from this law. If you are under the age of 18, you are not allowed to use a cell phone at all, even if it is hands free.

Laws

  • Usage of handheld cell phones not allowed, hands free is okay for drivers over the age of 18
  • Drivers 18 and under are not allowed to use any mobile electronics
  • Text messaging and driving is against the law for drivers of all ages

A police officer can pull you over if they see violating one of the laws above and for no other reason. If pulled over, you may get a fine for the offense. Hawaii does not use the point system for licenses so there will be no points added there. There are a few exceptions to these laws as well.

Fines

  • First offense is $200
  • Second offense in the same year is $300

Exceptions

  • Calling 911, police, or fire

Hawaii has some of the strictest distracted driving laws in the United States, so it is important to be aware of these if you plan on driving in this State. Each offense is classified as a traffic infraction, so you do not have to appear in court, just mail in your fine. It is a good idea to pull over to the side of the road if you do need to make a phone call or send a text message. This is for your safety and the safety of those around you.


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