Starting October 1, it will be illegal for drivers in Vermont to use a cell phone or other electronic or computing devices while driving.
Already it’s illegal for drivers to text while driving, to use a portable electronic or computing device in a work zone, and for drivers under age 18 to use any handheld devices when behind the wheel.
While October 1 is a month away the Vermont Agency of Transportation, Project RoadSafe and the Association of General Contractors of Vermont encourage drivers to start practicing today.
Here’s what you need to know about the new law:
- Portable electronic devices include cellphones, PDAs, laptops or tablets and MP3 or game players, but not CB radios.
- An officer can stop any driver with a device in hand.
- Devices may be used if securely mounted in the vehicle, but not on the windshield, where it can be reached to activate or deactivate hands-free use through a speaker or Bluetooth device.
- Phones may be used for necessary communication with emergency personnel.
- Penalties range from $100 to $200 for a first violation and $250 to $500 for each additional violation within two years.