No matter where you are in the United States, distracted driving is a significant concern – and Hawaii is no exception. Distracted driving puts both the driver concerned and everybody else on the road at risk of harm.
That’s why Hawaii, like many other states, has rules about the use of mobile electronic devices, like cellphones, behind the wheel. If you’re going to be driving in this state, it’s smart to understand them.
Keep your hands off your phone while you’re driving
While distracted driving can take numerous different forms, there’s been a notable increase in the problem since smartphones became common. For that reason:
- Handheld cellular devices are all forbidden for drivers. Bluetooth devices can be used by drivers who are over 18 years of age.
- Drivers under 18 years of age may not use cellular devices while driving at all, even if they are hands-free.
That means drivers are generally forbidden from texting, using social media, accessing their apps and other practices common to cellphones.
There are a few exceptions to the rules. Drivers of all ages are permitted to pick up their cellphones while in motion if they need to call “911” for emergency services. In most other cases, drivers who need to use their phones are expected to pull over somewhere safe, stop their vehicle completely and turn off its engine. (There are some additional exceptions for emergency responders who need to use their cellphones for their duties, the use of two-way radios by commercial drivers and drivers with a valid amateur radio operator license.)
A first-time violation of these rules can result in a $250 file. If the violation occurred in a school zone or a construction zone, the fine is $300.
It’s a mistake to think that you should just pay a traffic ticket when you get one and forget about it. Every ticket adds points to your license and, with any subsequent offense, that can put your license at risk. Plus, any ticket on your record can lead to increased insurance costs. Learning more about your defense options can help you to make informed choices in the wake of being cited for a traffic infraction.