Alaska bans texting while driving for all drivers but there is no ban on cell phone use. Laws banning handheld cellphones have been introduced into the Alaska legislature and have not passed.
Cell Phone Use
There is no cell phone ban for Alaska drivers
All drivers are banned from texting. The ban is a result of the 2008 passage of “Alaska’s Text Messaging Ban” a bill that actually relates to “televisions, monitors, portable computers and similar devices in motor vehicles.” The law specifically prohibits unlawful installation of television, monitor or “similar“ devices.
The law states that it will be considered a crime if a person driving a motor vehicle has a television, video monitor, portable computer, or any other similar means capable of providing a visual display that is in full view of a driver in a normal driving position while the vehicle is in motion; and the monitor or visual display is operating while the person is driving. The laws goes on to say equipment may not be installed or altered to allow images to be viewed by the driver in a normal driving position while the vehicle is in motion.
Exceptions to the No-Texting Law
Exceptions to the new Alaska texting law include:
- Portable cellular telephones or personal data assistants being used for verbal communication or displaying caller identification information or equipment that is displaying only audio equipment information, functions and controls; vehicle information or controls related to speed, fuel level, battery charge and other vehicle safety or equipment information.
- Navigation or Global Positioning
- Visual information to enhance of supplement the driver’s view forward, behind, or to the sides of the motor vehicle for the purpose of maneuvering the vehicle.
- Allow the driver to monitor vehicle occupants seated behind the driver.
- Vehicle dispatching and response information for motor vehicles providing emergency road service or roadside assistance.
- Vehicle dispatching information for passenger transport or freight or package delivery.
- Information for use in performing highway construction, maintenance, or repair or data acquisition by the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities or a municipality.
There is no cell phone or texting ban for Alaska bus drivers
How is the Ban on Texting Enforced?
Alaska’s anti-texting laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for offense without having to witness some other violation. A person who violates this new law (depending on the circumstances) would be guilty of a misdemeanor. If the driver is involved in an accident and there is a injury or death, the driver would be charged with a felony.