Handheld cell phone use and texting is prohibited for all Connecticut drivers. All cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) is prohibited for Connecticut bus drivers and for novice drivers.
Cell Phone Use
All Connecticut drivers are prohibited from using handheld cell phones while driving. The law presumes that you are making a call if you have the cell phone near your ear. Exceptions to the rule exist for emergency calls.
Novice drivers in Connecticut - drivers younger than 18 – are prohibited from all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free).
If handheld cell phones are prohibited, then what’s permissible? Here are the common options:
- abstinence (don't use a cell phone while driving)
- speaker phone
- use a bluetooth wireless device
- use a wired headset
- install a car kit (a more expensive proposition)
All Connecticut drivers are prohibited from texting – that is, typing, sending or reading a text message with a hand-held mobile telephone or mobile electronic device. Exceptions to the rule exist for emergency calls and calls made while using a hands-free device.
All Connecticut bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones (handheld and hands-free) and from texting.
How is it Enforced?
Read more about Connecticut’s distracted driving laws.
If a driver is stopped for using a handheld cell phone, the fine for a first offense will be $125 and a second offense will cost $250 and subsequent offenses will cost the offender $400. The fines for texting are $100, $150, and $200 for first, second, and third offenders. If a teen driver is ticketed for using a cell phone or text messaging the following penalties will be applied -- First offense: 30 day license suspension and a $125 license restoration fee plus court fines. Second and all subsequent offenses: a 6 month suspension or until the teen driver reaches the age of 18, whichever is longer. There is also a $125 license restoration fee, plus court fines. Connecticut’s handheld cell phone and texting laws are considered “primary” laws, as is the prohibition on all cell phones for bus drivers. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation. That is, the officer sees you texting and issues a citation.