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Cell Phone Tickets and Traffic School
There are 9 states, plus Washington D.C., Guam and the Virgin Islands that prohibit every driver from using handheld cell phones while driving.
Did you get a cell phone ticket recently for texting or talking on your cell phone driving? Many states already have and continue to pass cell phone laws that ban people from talking and texting while driving and in many cases the fines can be extremely high if you are caught talking or texting. In fact the average cell phone ticket is over $75 and increases substantially for each consequent ticket. Moreover, in many states points are also added to your driving record for cell phone tickets which increases your auto insurance rates by as much as 20% per ticket. If you have a $100 month policy, one ticket costs you an extra $1200! (Most tickets stay on your driving record for 5 years). Due to these severe and expensive consequences, many people want to know if they can take traffic school for cell phone tickets.
Can I take traffic school for a cell phone ticket?
Unfortunately the answer to this question isn't as simple as you might have hoped and depends on what state you live in. In order to determine if you can take traffic school for a cell phone ticket you will need to find out the answer to three critical questions. First, you need to find out if the cell phone ticket will be reported on your driving record. If it is reported on your driving record than it will increase your car insurance rates and it is essential to take traffic school to avoid this. Secondly, you will want to look on your ticket or call the court listed on your ticket to ask if you can take traffic school to dismiss your cell phone ticket. This differs state-to-state and sometimes even county-to-county. Finally, you want to find out if traffic school is mandated for a cell phone ticket. Some states are now mandating traffic school for cell phone tickets because they see it as a very serious offense. Usually if you are court ordered to take traffic school you will receive a notification in the mail sortly after receiving your ticket.
Cell Phone Laws and Laws for Texting and Driving
The following summarizes some of the cell phone laws around the country.
- Handheld Cell Phones: There are 9 states, plus Washington D.C., Guam and the Virgin Islands that prohibit every driver from using handheld cell phones while driving. In all of these states, except Maryland, an officer can give the driver a ticket and pull them over only for being on their cell phone. No other offense is needed.
- Novice Drivers: 30 states and Washington D.C. prohibit all cell phone use by novice drivers.
- School Bus Drivers: Bus drivers in 19 states and Washington D.C. prohibit cell phone use when passengers are present.
- Text Messaging: 35 states, Washington D.C. and Guam prohibit text messaging for all drivers.
- Distracted Driving Laws: Some states such as Maine, N.H. and Utah treat cell phone use and texting as part of a larger distracted driving issue. In Utah, cellphone use is an offense only if a driver is also committing some other moving violation (other than speeding).
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