by Kevin G. Harvey June, 2011
Indiana has become the 32nd state to ban texting while driving. The new law, which becomes effective July 1, 2011, provides for assessment of fines of up to $500 for violators. There was an effort in the legislature to completely ban the use of cell phones while driving, but that prohibition did not make it into the final version of the law. The new law does not appear to ban texting while sitting at a red light, although if you try to send one then the people driving behind you will still likely expect you to begin moving as soon as the light turns green. The law specifically prohibits typing and sending a text while driving, while it does not appear to ban reading a received text while driving.
It seems logical that, the less experienced the driver, the more unsafe the act of texting becomes. Indiana previously addressed that reality with a law that prohibits all drivers under the age of 18 from using any cellphones, texting devices, or other wireless communication devices while driving. Whether this new general ban against texting will result in less texting while driving by older adults remains to be seen.