Idaho’s new hands-free cell phone law goes into effect Wednesday

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho’s new hands-free cell phone law goes into effect on Wednesday.

The new law requires electronic devices be in hands-free mode while driving, including when stopped at a red light or stop sign. In other words, holding a cell phone while operating a vehicle is illegal.

The new law is intended to address safety concerns associated with a significant portion of distracted driving.

“Education of motorists is key,” said Idaho State Police Director Col. Kedrick Wills. “Idahoans want to be responsible and to be good drivers. This law is another way to remind all of us we need to pay attention to the road when we’re behind the wheel. As law enforcement, we can remind drivers with education or enforcement. We’re starting with what we prefer, education.”

The law applies to drivers statewide. Law enforcement officers will issue warnings to those out of compliance starting Wednesday and continuing through December 31. Drivers will be issued citations beginning January 1, 2021.

Those found violating the new law will face a $75 fine for their first offense. Drivers facing a second offense within three years will be given a $150 fine. Third and subsequent offenses within three years will result in a $300 fine and can lead to a license suspension of up to 90days.

RELATED: Study: Distracted driving fatalities down in Wash. since E-DUI law went into effect