North Dakota Distracted Driving Laws
- Ban on all cell phone (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary Law).
- Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary Law).
North Dakota’s Texting While Driving Stand
North Dakota had its first distracted driving law initiated on August 1, 2011, when text messaging was banned for all drivers. This will be enforced by officers who can stop drivers for any or all of these offenses. A ticket for this citation will be $100 when enforced.
When North Dakota banned text messaging for all drivers, they became the 31st state in the country to do so. The Governor of North Dakota signed through HB 1195 in April 2011. Following this, he enacted a law that would prohibit teens from using all different kinds of electronic devices when driving, including both hands-free products and cell phones.
Grand Forks had the text messaging ban for six months and only issued two tickets at that time. The main purpose behind this law though is fairly clear: Texting while driving is exponentially dangerous and a person who uses this is at risk of injury or death. And that is why this law is in effect.
To be clear, people under 18 are not allowed to use any electronic device while they’re driving, which includes cell phones, iPods and digital cameras. However, even if you’re over 18, if you’re caught using a cell phone to send a text message, then you will receive a ticket for $100 from the policeman. This does not, however, infringe on any human rights. The policeman would still need a search warrant, for example, if they really wanted to check on your phone to be sure. The assumption will simply be that you are texting, even if you are adding a phone number or doing other things.
Both of these laws, H.B. 1195, which is texting while driving law, and H.B. 1256, which bans all electronic devices for people under the age of 18. The main problem has been that drivers under the age of 20 across this great country have been most likely to ignore this law and text, use their iPod or other things while driving, and that can lead to more accidents.
HB 1190 is a distracted driving bill that would ban activities inside a car that require all of a driver’s vision. This wouldn’t include car activities that involve either the whole automobile or a built-in accessory. The enforcement on the bill would be secondary and carry a fine of $30 to $50 in total. The bill was approved by the House Transportation Committee on February 4, 2011, and then sent over to the House where it was approved on March 9, 2011. The bill was finally approved by Senate on March 28, 2011, with an amendment, and then it landed in the House. It was rejected on April 7, 2011, by the house and is now dead.
HB 1195 is a ban that prohibits text messaging for all drivers. All other electronic messaging is banned as well. The primary enforcement for violation of HB 1195 is a $100 fine. A number of penalties were also removed from the bill within the final senate vote on March 28, 2011. On March 25, 2011, it was decided that the Senate Transportation Committee would not be supporting the bill, as they believed the penalties to be too severe. The bill was then amended and approved with the penalties being reduced to the current $100 fine.
HB 1256 is a bill that focused on safety for teenage drivers in the state of North Dakota. It states that all drivers under the age of 18 would be banned from using handheld devices in a car. The bill was approved on February 16, 2011, and approved by the House on February 22, 2011. The Senate Transportation Committee approved it on March 31, 2011, and it was signed into law by North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple on April 26, 2011.