Since Indiana’s hands-free driving law went into effect July 1, 2020, the Fishers Police Dept. has issued 270 citations for motorists failing to use hands-free technology while driving.
FPD Sgt. Tom Weger said during that time, the police department has seen drivers making more of an effort to refrain from using their phone while driving.
“I think that, overall, we do see more people using the hands-free technology, so we are excited about that,” Weger said. “Obviously, the whole premise is to increase driver attention and decrease crashes, so we hope that that trend continues.”
During the law’s first year, many police departments issued warnings to prioritize public education about the law. In a statewide press conference July 29, police departments announced they would be moving away from warnings and issuing tickets, which can cost up to $500 and add four points to the violator’s driver’s license. Speeding up to 15 mph over the speed limit can add two points to a license.
Weger said, when possible, drivers should secure their phone out of reach so they aren’t tempted to use it while driving.
“Secure it in the glove box or a purse or a backpack. Having it out of sight, out of reach will decrease the temptation to look at it while driving. That’s the ideal situation,” Weger said. “Obviously, when we’re talking about using their phone for GPS, that’s not an option, so use some type of Bluetooth technology or other hands-free technology integrated into the car would be our recommendation.”