Effective October 1, 2014, all drivers are prohibited from using handheld electronic devices to talk or text while driving. Included in the ban are cell phones, laptop computers, tablets, and music players (VT Stat. Tit. 23 Sec. 1095b).
Hands-free devices are permitted as long as their cradles are securely mounted to the dashboard, earpieces do not block the ear canal completely, and the use of either hand is not required to operate the device.
Composing, reading, or sending electronic communications, including text messages, instant messages, or e-mails, via portable electronic devices, while operating a vehicle is included in the ban.
Drivers under the age of 18 may not use any type of cell phone while driving.
The prohibition includes viewing videos on electronic equipment visible to the driver while the vehicle is in motion.
Exemptions. Drivers are permitted to use a handheld cell phone to call law enforcement or emergency services. The use of a GPS device or citizens band radio is permitted.
Penalties. The penalty for a first offense ranges from $100 to $200, $250 for a second offense, and $500 for additional violations within a 2-year period. Drivers whose violation occurred in an active work zone will receive two points against their driver's license (VT Stat. Tit. 23 Sec. 1095b(c)(2)).
Last reviewed October 2014.