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State Laws

State Cell Phone Laws

Laws plus visible enforcement are effective at reducing crashes and saving lives, making our roads safer for all. Each year in state legislatures, there is much activity regarding cell phones and driving. Check these resources for current status of state bills being debated and laws enacted.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's site gives a quick summary of each state's laws.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has U.S. maps that show at-a-glance information about state laws. 

Cell Phone and Texting Bans 


The Governors Highway Safety Association maintains current information about state laws in an easy-to-compare table format.


Cell Phone and Text Messaging State Laws


The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) maintains a current database of all bills introduced in states. Visit the NSCL database  and choose "Distracted Driving" as the topic.

NCSL also tracks cell phone laws including whether the state collects cell phone crash data.

National Cell Phone Laws 



Public Opinion

Recent surveys have measured public support for hands-free, handheld and texting bans. According to results, the public supports banning phone use while driving more than legislators and employers may think they do. Visit the Public Opinion Surveys section in Key Research for links to survey results.


High-Visibility Enforcement Demonstration Programs in Connecticut and New York Reduce Hand-Held Phone Use

"Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other." NHTSA pilots enforcement of cell phone laws in Syracuse, New York and Hartford, Connecticut. It applies the Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement strategy to cell phones.


Several short- and longer-term evaluations of laws have been published. Visit the Evaluations of Laws section in Key Research.



Identify Distracted Driving as an interest in My Profile to get  NSC information on state legislative activity and advocacy opportunities.


FocusDriven is an advocacy and victim support organization, launched by families who lost loved ones in cell phone-related crashes.

FocusDriven on Facebook

Sample State Texting While Driving Law

NSC Resources


White Paper: Cognitive Distraction

Fact Sheet: Cell Phone Laws and Primary Versus Secondary Enforcement 

Fact Sheet: Public Opinion About Cell Phone Laws

Position/Policy Statement: Cell Phone and Text Messaging Laws

Position/Policy Statement: GDL and Teen Cell Phone Laws

NSC Applauds IIHS Efforts to Understand Effects of Cell Phone Use Legislation -- New Findings Support Need for Total Ban











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