INDIANAPOLIS — it’s been a year since Indiana’s hands free law went into effect.
On Thursday, the Indiana Department of Transportation announced officials wrote 15,000 tickets and warnings.
When the law first started last summer, officials were only giving warnings to get people used to the change. That ended after six months. Still, even with this law officials say a change of culture is necessary to make people stop completely.
“We really need to take a look at our hands free law and the use, the distracted driving and use of cellphones like we impaired driving,” Said Devon McDonald, executive director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. “A person wouldn’t get into a car with an impaired driver just like they wouldn’t drive impaired themselves, we need to think the same thing from a cultural perspective, with the hands free law.”
While driving, the following is allowed:
• People who are driving may use their device in conjunction with hands-free or voice
• GPS and other map apps are allowed, provided they are being used with hands-free
• Devices may be used or held to call 911 to report a true emergency.
If people violate the law, they can face a Class C infraction and be subject to a fine. Starting Thursday, the Indiana BMV will also add points to records.
Officials also reminded drivers to be extra vigilant this holiday weekend when on the road.