Laws and penalties regarding distracted driving vary by state. The majority of states, 47 plus D.C., have laws in place that ban texting and driving. And many states allow you to talk on a phone and drive, as long as you’re not holding the phone in your hands. But in other states, there are no laws against handheld devices being used in cars, and in a handful, texting is allowed.
In the majority of states, fines for driver texting or cellphone tickets run between $50 and $200. But you can pay much more or a bit less. A first ticket in Oregon can result in a $1,000 ticket, which goes up to $2,500 for a second offense. On the other end of the spectrum, in Wisconsin a texting-while-driving ticket is $20. In a dozen or so states, you can have points tacked on to your driver’s license record for a cellphone violation, though in several states, that will only happen if you’re a repeat offender.
Will a texting ticket raise my insurance?
A texting ticket will raise your rates, on average, by 23 percent, according to a rate analysis by CarInsurance.com, but could be much higher or lower depending on your state laws and driving record, among other factors. (To see the rate increase for your state, visit Texting ticket: How much your car insurance goes up.)
To see the cellphone penalties in your state, review the following slides.