As of June 1, drivers can no longer use hand-held devices in Rhode Island.
Not without penalty, anyway.
Beginning June 1, police can ticket drivers caught talking on hand-held phones, and violators can be fined up to a $100. Hands-free devices are allowed.
The state has prohibited texting while driving for several years.
Rhode Island is the 15th state to institute a hand-held cellphone ban, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont also prohibit hand-held devices while driving, as does Washington, D.C.
Only Montana and Arizona lack statewide laws against texting while driving, and Missouri’s law is limited to drivers under 21.
More than 3,000 people die yearly in crashes caused by distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Even hands-free devices have been found to cause dangerous distractions, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
AAA Northeast traffic safety experts have created an educational video to help drivers go hands-free, regardless of whether their vehicles are equipped with the latest and greatest technology.
How do you plan to comply with Rhode Island’s new hands-free law? Tell us in the comments section.