Policy Analysis | March 2013
Southern States' Distracted Driving Laws
Distracted Driving Regulations by SLC Member State
|State||Ban on Handheld Devices||Ban on Cell Phone Use while Driving||Ban on Texting while Driving||Collection of Crash Data|
|School Bus Drivers||Novice Drivers||All Drivers||School Bus Drivers||Novice Drivers|
|Alabama||For Drivers 16,or 17 years old holding an Intermediate License less than six months||Yes||Covered under all driver ban|
|Arkansas 1||Drivers 18-20 years old||Yes||Under 18 *||Yes||Covered under all driver ban||Yes|
|Georgia||Yes||Under 18||Yes||Covered under all driver ban||Yes|
|Kentucky||Yes||Under 18||Yes||Covered under all driver ban|
|Louisiana||Learner or Intermediate License (regardless of age)||Yes||During First Year of License (primary offense for drivers Under 18)||Yes||Covered under all driver ban||Yes|
|Mississippi||Yes||Yes||Learner or Provisional License|
|North Carolina||Yes||Under 18||Yes||Covered under all driver ban|
|Oklahoma||Learner or Intermediate License||Yes||Yes||Learner or Intermediate License||Yes|
|South Carolina||Yes 2|
|Tennessee||Yes||Learner or Intermediate License||Yes||Covered under all driver ban||Yes|
|Texas 3||Yes, with passenger(s) Under 18||During First Year of Intermediate License||Yes, with Passenger(s) Under 18||During Intermediate License, First Year||Yes|
|Virginia||Yes||Under 18 *||Yes *||Covered under all driver ban||Covered under all driver ban||Yes|
|West Virginia||Yes||Under 18 with Learner or Intermediate Licence||Yes||Covered under all driver ban|
* Secondary offense - drivers only can be cited for offense if stopped and ticketed for a more severe, primary offense
1 Arkansas also bans the use of handheld cell phones while driving in a school zone or in a highway construction zone. This law is secondarily enforced.
2 South Carolina has a Distracted/inattention attribute under Contributing Factors.
3 Texas has banned the use of hand-held phones and texting in school zones.