Indiana's distracted driving law generally bans texting-while-driving for all motorists and talking on a cellphone for only certain drivers. This article discusses the specifics of what the law prohibits and the costs and other consequences of a violation.
For most Indiana motorists, there are no restrictions on talking on a cellphone while driving. However, for drivers who are under the age of 21, it is illegal to use a cellphone while operating a vehicle. The only exception to this ban is for making 9-1-1 calls.
Indiana's distracted driving law prohibits all motorists from texting and emailing while driving. Generally, the ban includes entering and reading text messages and email.
However, the texting and email ban doesn't apply to motorists using hands-free or voice-operated technology.
Generally, a person who admits a violation (either by mailing a payment or appearing in court) is looking at a maximum $35.50 fine. However, if you contest a violation and lose, the maximum fine amount depends on your record. If it's your first violation within a five-year period, the maximum fine is $35.50. But if you have one prior violation within the past five years, the maximum is $250.50. And if you‘ve been convicted of two or more violations within the past five years, you can be fined up to $500.
A texting or cellphone violations will also add four demerit points to a motorist's driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension. However, a driver can get a four-point credit by completing a driver safety program.
Depending on the circumstances, a texting or cellphone violation could also result in a reckless driving conviction. And when one of these offenses involves the death of another person, reckless homicide (vehicular manslaughter) charges are a possibility.