INDIANA - The Indiana Hands-Free Law is now in effect, which means that drivers are now prohibited from holding a mobile device, except in emergencies, while their vehicles are moving.
Drivers who are caught breaking the law will be subject to a fine. Lieutenant Steve Kellogg, Spokesperson for the Hammond Police Department explains what the law means.
"Basically drivers are not allowed to have any telecommunication device in their hands while driving, unless it's in conjunction with a hands-free device," Kellogg says.
Texting, emailing, typing anything and reading texts while driving are all illegal, according to Kellogg. He says he doesn't know the exact event that brought the law about, but he says it is necessary.
"We take hundreds of accidents a year that involve people, driver inattention dealing with text messaging so people sending or receiving a text or looking at social media or something like that while they are driving which seems like 'who would do that' but it actually happens quite often," Kellogg says.
Kellogg says often times drivers take their eyes off the road for a few minutes and don't see that the vehicle in front of them is stopping and that causes an accident with injuries and liability across the state. Drivers are allowed to still talk on the phone while driving, but they are not allowed to hold the phone.
Kellogg says Hammond police will issue warnings for about the first 30 days, to allow people time to change their behavior, before they start issuing tickets.