Kansas Text Messaging and Cell Phone Laws

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Except for novice drivers, there is no prohibition on cell phone use while driving in Kansas. However, under a 2011 law, all Kansas drivers are prohibited from texting.

Cell Phone Use

There is no handheld cell phone prohibition for drivers except that novice drivers in Kansas - drivers with a learner's permit or intermediate license holders – are prohibited from using cell phones (handheld or hands-free) while driving.

Texting Laws

All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Texting refers to the use of a wireless communication device -- any "wireless electronic communication device that provides for voice or data communication between two or more parties, including, but not limited to, a mobile or cellular telephone, a text messaging device, a personal digital assistant that sends or receives messages, an audio-video player that sends or receives messages or a laptop computer." A"wireless communication device" does not include a device which is voice-operated and which allows the user to send or receive a text based communication without the use of either hand, except to activate or deactivate a feature or function. 

Drivers may not "write, send or read a written communication" which means they may not use a wireless communication device to manually type, send or read a written communication, including, but not limited to, a text message, instant message or electronic mail.

Exceptions: 
(1) A law enforcement officer or emergency service personnel acting within the course and scope of the law enforcement officer's or emergency service personnel's employment;
(2) a motor vehicle stopped off the regular traveled portion of the roadway;
(3) a person who reads, selects or enters a telephone number or name in a wireless communiations device for the purpose of making or receiving a phone call;
(4) a person who receives an emergency, traffic or weather alert message; or
(5) a person receiving a message related to the operation or navigation of the motor vehicle.

Drivers are not prohibited from using a wireless communications device while operating a moving motor vehicle to:
(1) Report current or ongoing illegal activity to law enforcement;
(2) prevent imminent injury to a person or property; or
(3) relay information between transit or for-hire operator and the operator's dispather, in which the device is permanently affixed to the motor vehicle.

Bus Drivers

Bus drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Legislation was proposed in 2012 to prohibit handheld cell phone use for bus drivers.

How is it Enforced?

A person ticketed under the anti-texting law will face a fine of $60. Kansas’s novice driver cell phone and texting laws are considered “primary” laws. 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.  Iowa’s texting law is a secondary law..

Other Kansas Information on this Website  

The links below provide additional information regarding driving laws in Kansas.

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