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Q & A: Does Idaho have a new cell phone law?

We printed this Q&A column in the April 10, 2021 edition of The Lewiston Tribune.

Q: Does Idaho have a new cell phone law?

A: Yes, Idaho is now enforcing the “hands-free cell phone” law passed last July.  The Idaho law requires electronic devices be in hands-free mode while driving, including when stopped at a red light or stop sign. In other words, with few exceptions, the new hands-free device law makes holding a cell phone illegal while operating a vehicle. Idaho and Washington are among the 25 states that have hands-free cell phone laws now.

APRIL IS DISTRACTED DRIVING MONTH 

You can expect increased enforcement this month if you’re caught texting, talking or holding a cell phone while driving. In Idaho, a first offense fine is $75 plus associated court fees.  Second offense doubles to $150. A third offense within three years will result in a $300 fine and can also lead to a suspended license of up to 90 days. After two citations your auto insurance rates may be affected.

CHANGE THINGS / MAKE A COMMITMENT

As we enter the spring and summer driving season, now is the time to make a commitment for safety.  If you have blue tooth in your car, be sure and set up your phone for hands-free use. Then put your phone away and you can answer and hang up calls from your steering column buttons. Get a phone holder so you can place your phone to see GPS directions when necessary. Follow through and do these simple things so you can have limited phone use without sacrificing safety on the road. 

American Insurance wants to help every driver change their cell phone habits and stay safe when driving. For more information and ideas about how to prevent distracted driving accidents please email Community [at] Am-Ins [dot] com or call Stephanie at 208-413-6242.