INDIANAPOLIS — Drivers across Indiana are now prohibited by law from holding a smartphone or tablet in their hand while driving.

The bill was signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb in March of this year after it passed both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support.

HB 1070 states a person may not hold or use a telecommunications device while operating a moving motor vehicle. This amends previous language which specified it could not be used to text or email.

It states it may be used with hands free or voice operated technology, this includes Bluetooth or speaker phone capabilities.

“A telecommunications device may be used or held to call 911 to report a bona fide emergency,” the bill states.

In terms of consequences, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles cannot assess points to a drivers license for a violation of this law until July 1, 2021.

The Indiana Department of Transportation released information in connection with the implementation of this law, stating traffic crashes and fatalities have increased in recent years due to distracted driving.

Also going into effect July 1 is a law prohibiting anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing tobacco or vaping products. SB 1 prohibits anyone under 21 from buying or possessing tobacco, e-liquids or electronic cigarettes.

The bill also outlines guidelines for establishments which sell these products, and potential penalties for selling to someone under 21.

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