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Idaho hands free driving law goes into effect July 1

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 11:58 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) -If you use that cell phone while driving, it now needs to be hands free.

The state law goes into effect July 1st, and bans the use of cell phones while driving.

The old rule was those texting and driving would get a $75 fine, and there wouldn’t be any increase in fines if caught again.

This new law makes it a $75 fine for the first time within three years, it goes up to $150 the second time within 3 years, and then up to $300 every time after that, explains Twin Falls Police Department Sgt. Ryan Howe

“Along with the fines, it actually can be used by the insurance companies to raise your insurance rates. The other thing that can happen is your license can be suspended after the third time,” Howe said.

The only time you can use your phone is if it’s a one touch operation, you can no longer hold your phone to your ear, or use it at a stop light or stop sign.

“As long as you’re in traffic and not in a place where it’s legal to park or stop you’re not allowed to use your phone, anything more than a one touch or things like navigation. You also can’t watch a screen that has movement on it,” Howe explained.

There are a couple of exceptions.

“One is, you know, even as law enforcement officers we try not to do it, law enforcement officer, there’s exceptions there, and firefighters, but its the same for people, if they’re calling 911 or to report serious road hazards, that’s an exception,” Howe said.

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