News laws regarding Cell Phone and Seatbelt usage are effective October 1st. Here is a brief overview of the changes:
With regard to Cell Phone use:
- A driver of a vehicle in motion may not use their hands to use a handheld telephone unless it is to initiate or terminate a wireless call or turn off (or on) a handheld phone
- The new law is a primary enforcement, which means no other violation other than talking on a cell phone is necessary to pull over the driver and issue a citation
- The vehicle must be in motion for this law to apply
Fines: 1st Offense- $83, 2nd offense- $140, 3rd offense (and any subsequent)- $160. No points will be accessed to your driver's licence unless cell phone usage contributed to a collision.
With regard to Texting: Don't Do It!
- Always a primary enforcement
- Vehicle does not have to be in motion (just on a travel portion of the roadway)
- Exceptions: GPS or to contact a 9-11 system
Fines: $70.00 for the first and subsequent offenses
The driver is assessed one point for this violation and three points if it contributes to a collision.
With regard to Seatbelt Usage:
All persons riding in a motor vehicle are now required to be restrained by a seatbelt or a child safety seat (as defined by provisions of the law) and that only the number of persons for which seatbelts are available may be transported in the vehicle.
This law prohibits using a single seatbelt for more than one individual. You cannot have more people in the car than there are seatbelts. No exceptions.
New law requires persons over 16 years of age to be restrained regardless of position in the car. This provision is a secondary enforcement (officers must have another reason to pull you over).
Fine: $83 for first and subsequent offenses.