EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A new law impacting drivers goes into effect all across the Hoosier state Wednesday.
It’s called the “Hands-Free Law”, which will limit the use of using a cell phone while driving.
State police tell us there is already a law in effect, saying you cannot text and drive in Indiana. What the new law does is take the cell phone out of your hand altogether, and it’s all in an effort to save lives.
According to the IN.gov website, in 2020 there are now more crashes related to texting and driving than drinking and driving.
That’s why the hands-free law is going into effect Wednesday, to help authorities better crackdown on distracted driving.
“It is an extremely hard law to enforce, but the new law, which simply says, you cannot hold your phone, will allow law enforcement to go out and hopefully get people to put their phones down,” said Sgt. Todd Ringle with the Indiana State Police.
However, state police tell us drivers will not be fined for being on their cell phones while at stoplights in Indiana.
“The law prohibits you from holding your phone when you’re moving,” Ringle said. “So as soon as that light turns green, you better put your phone down and just drive.”
Several other states across the country, including Illinois, have already put the hands-free laws into effect. Authorities tell us the impact those states have seen has been tremendous.
“The vast majority of those states have seen a decrease of highway fatalities,” said Sgt Ringle. “Some of those states have seen a reduction in highway fatalities by 15 percent. If that holds true for Indiana, we could see as many as 130 fewer fatalities on our highways.”
If you have to make a call while you’re driving, you should pull over into a parking lot if possible, or use Bluetooth and a car mount to make those calls.
If you are caught driving with your cell phone in hand, you could be fined up to $500.