What you need to know before Indiana’s hands-free law goes into effect

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – July 1st marks the start of the ban of using a telecommunication device while operating a moving vehicle in Indiana.

Indiana State Police are urging drivers to put their phone away, or utilize hands-free technology.

“The bottom line is is this legislation is being enacted because of the distracted driving issues that we’re dealing with not only in Indiana, but around the country,” says Sergeant Brian Walker, Public Information Officer with the Indiana State Police.

This law is an amendment to the current ban of texting and driving.

“Now having that phone in their hand, up to their ear, whether they’re talking on it or texting on it, manipulating it in any way, is a violation. So, with the exception of using hands-free technology, Bluetooth technology, and then if you have to make a bona fide emergency 911 call,” says Sgt. Walker.

Sgt. Walker says the first steps ISP will take is educating drivers.

“So I’ve heard the rumor that we’ve got ticket books in hand, waiting to write some tickets. And that is, it couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re going to be enforcing, the State Police will be particularly concerned about education of the law. But this is a moving vehicle violation, so officers have discretion to write tickets as they deem fit. So, you’ll have a lot of discussion and warning being issued early on, but you may very well get a ticket if you’re in violation of the law.”

Sgt. Walker says you 400 times more likely to get into an crash if you’re using a cellphone than if you don’t use one.

He says Indiana State Police Officers have been trained on the new law, in order to keep enforcement consistent.

Sgt. Walker also says the law applies to him, and all other police officers.

Read the bill here:

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