New cell phone law effective July 24

Act 738 will go into effect on Wednesday, July 24, for all Arkansas Drivers. The law, which was first introduced in March of this year, places restrictions on cell phone usage while driving.

According to the law, it is illegal to text, instant message or use any cell phone data while operating a vehicle. 

Texting has been defined as emailing, entering a command or request to access an internet page, pressing more than a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication using a mobile telephone, or engaging in any other form of electronic text retrieval or enter for future communication. Texting has also been defined as manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an electronic device.

The new law also places limitations to whom can use devices on Arkansas roads.

Drivers under the age of 18 cannot use a cell phone, or a hands-free device; however, drivers 18 years of age to 20 years of age can use a hands-free device while driving, but not a cell phone.

Drivers of all ages are prohibited from using cell phones in construction zones when workers are present and in school zones during school hours.

Fines for the first offense range from $25 to $250. A second offense could cost a driver anywhere from $50 to $500 dollars.

Fines will be doubled if a driver was involved in a crash.

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