NHTSA 17-13
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Contact: Karen Aldana, 202-366-9550

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today praised Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie for enacting a new law prohibiting the use of cellular phones and other mobile electronic devices while operating a vehicle.

“I commend Governor Abercrombie and the Hawaii legislature for taking an important stand against the danger of distracted driving today,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This new law banning texting while driving will ultimately save many lives and prevent injuries on Hawaii’s roads.”

While all counties in the state have a distracted driving ordinance in place, this measure establishes a state law that creates consistent requirements across all counties for the use of mobile electronic devices while driving and will simplify enforcement.

The law becomes effective July 1, 2013, and the fine for a first offense is $100 or more.

“We are making a difference in the fight against distracted driving through a combination of good laws, tough and consistent enforcement, and extensive public education,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “Hawaii is sending a strong message that it wants all drivers to be free of distractions.”

In 2009, Secretary LaHood launched a national anti-distracted driving campaign to combat the growing trend of dangerous distracted driving behavior in America. To help further raise awareness, the U.S. DOT also launched  , a dedicated website that provides the public with a comprehensive source of information on distracted driving.

With the addition of Hawaii, 40 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam have banned text messaging for all drivers. Hawaii becomes the 11th state to join the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands in prohibiting all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving.

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