Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in Kentucky

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Kentucky defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts you from the primary focus of driving your vehicle and increases the risk of an accident. These distractions come in three forms, which are: visual, manual, and cognitive. Texting is one of the biggest and most dangerous distractions because it uses all three forms.

In the state of Kentucky, it is illegal for drivers who are under the age of 18 to use a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. This includes both hands free and handheld devices.

It is illegal for drivers of all ages to text while the vehicle is in motion, which includes instant messaging and emailing. A driver cannot read, write, or send a message while driving. In addition to this, drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use a personal handheld device while operating a vehicle. A personal handheld device includes smartphones and PDAs.

Laws

  • Drivers under 18 are not allowed to use a cell phone at all, handheld or hands free
  • Drivers over the age of 18 are allowed to use a cell phone, but no texting as it is illegal for all ages

If you are caught violating one of the laws above, you can be pulled over by a police officer without having caused any other violation. If you do get pulled over, you are likely to receive a fine or a citation.

Fines

  • First offense is $25
  • Second offense is $50 plus court fees
  • Three points on your driver’s license
  • Those under 18 years of age must wait 180 days to apply for a regular license

Texting and driving is illegal for all drivers in the state of Kentucky. Driving while using a phone reduces your brain activity by 37 percent, which you need to drive appropriately. In addition, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet suggests that if you do need to use your cell phone to make calls while operating a vehicle, to have the phone within reach, dial numbers when the vehicle is not in motion, and don’t have stressful conversations.

Driving while distracted is a safety hazard to you and those around you. It is best to pull over to a safe area on the side of the road if you need to use your cell phone. In addition, never text and drive as it increases the cause of motor vehicle accidents.


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