State law on distracted driving goes into effect

Violators could face fines between $100 and $200 for first-time offenses

Published  9:29 AM HST Jul 01, 2013
HONOLULU -

A new law banning the use of mobile electronic devices while driving went into effect statewide on Monday.

This is in addition to individual counties' distracted driving laws.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the bill into law back in May.  Violators can face a penalty between $100 and $200 for first-time offenses.

If caught in a school or construction zone, the fine is doubled.

HB 980 applies to cellular phones but can also be applied to other electronic devices.  It does not apply to audio equipment or equipment installed in a vehicle for the purpose of providing navigation or emergency assistance to the driver, or video entertainment to the passengers in the rear seats of the vehicle.

The law also prohibits a driver under the age of 18 to operate a motor vehicle while utilizing a hands-free mobile electronic device, except for making a 911 emergency call.

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