Kentucky Text Messaging and Cell Phone Laws

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Except for novice drivers and bus drivers, there is no prohibition on cell phone use while driving in Kentucky. However, all Kentucky drivers are prohibited from texting.

Cell Phone Use

There is no handheld cell phone prohibition for drivers except that novice drivers in Kentucky - drivers under the age of 18  – are prohibited from using cell phones (handheld or hands-free) while driving.

Texting Laws

All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.  The law states:

  • No person may write, send or read a text-based communication (including text messages, instant messages and emails) while operating a motor vehicle that is in motion.
  • No person under the age of 18 may operate a motor vehicle while using a personal communication device (including talking, texting or emailing on cell phones, smart phones or other PDAs) except when it is necessary to summon medical help or law enforcement in an emergency situation.

Bus Drivers

School bus drivers are prohibited from from using any cell phone (handheld or hands-free) while driving with children in bus. And, as with all drivers, they are prohibited from texting while driving.

How is it Enforced?

Text messaging fines are $25 (first offense) and then $50, plus court costs. Kentucky’s text messaging and cell phone 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. 

Read more about Kentucky’s distracted driving laws.

Other Kentucky Information

Follow the links below for additional information surrounding Kentucky drivings laws found on this website.

More Information on Kentucky's Cell-Phone Driving Law

Here is the State of Kentucky's government website that has information regarding Kentucky's cell-phone driving law.

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