New Law Restricting Cell Phone Use While Driving Goes Into Effect Wednesday

ARKANSAS (KFSM) — A new law will go into effect Wednesday (July 23) that will strengthen restrictions on driving while using a cell phone.

In the law, the definition of texting now includes instant messaging and electronic data retrieval.

It doesn’t allow anyone under 18 to use a cell phone, even on a hands-free device.

Drivers between 18 and 20 can use hands-free devices, but not cell phones.

Drivers of all ages are prohibited from using cell phones in construction zones and school zones when students are present.

Drivers who spoke to 5NEWS say they agree that this is a great step toward making the roads safer.

“That’s what the whole problem is, we’re distracted, we’re not paying attention to our driving, and that’s what’s important,” Barbara Kumpe said. “When you think about the 2,000-pound vehicle that you’re driving and here you are looking at something else, and then something can happen in just a quick second, and people's lives are changed forever.”

For the first offense, fines range from $25 to $250. For the second offense, it’s $50 to $500. The fines will double if the driver gets into an accident or collision.

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