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Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 23 : Motor Vehicles

Chapter 013 : OPERATION OF VEHICLES

Subchapter 009 : VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES

(Cite as: 23 V.S.A. § 1095b)
  • § 1095b. Handheld use of portable electronic device prohibited

    (a) Definition. As used in this section, "hands-free use" means the use of a portable electronic device without use of either hand by employing an internal feature of, or an attachment to, the device.

    (b) Use of handheld portable electronic device prohibited.

    (1) A person shall not use a portable electronic device while operating a moving motor vehicle in a place open temporarily or permanently to public or general circulation of vehicles.

    (2) In addition, a person shall not use a portable electronic device while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway in Vermont, including while the vehicle is stationary, unless otherwise provided in this section. As used in this subdivision (b)(2):

    (A) "Public highway" means a State or municipal highway as defined in 19 V.S.A. § 1(12).

    (B) "Operating" means operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other temporary delays. "Operating" does not include operating a motor vehicle with or without the motor running when the operator has moved the vehicle to the side of or off the public highway and has halted in a location where the vehicle can safely and lawfully remain stationary.

    (3) The prohibitions of this subsection shall not apply:

    (A) To hands-free use.

    (B) To activation or deactivation of hands-free use, as long as any accessory for securely mounting the device is not affixed to the windshield in violation of section 1125 of this title.

    (C) When use of a portable electronic device is necessary for a person to communicate with law enforcement or emergency service personnel under emergency circumstances.

    (D) To use of an ignition interlock device, as defined in section 1200 of this title.

    (E) To use of a global positioning or navigation system if it is installed by the manufacturer or securely mounted in the vehicle in a manner that does not violate section 1125 of this title. As used in this subdivision (b)(3)(E), "securely mounted" means the device is placed in an accessory or location in the vehicle, other than the operator's hands, where the device will remain stationary under typical driving conditions.

    (c) Penalties. Penalties.

    (1) A person who violates this section commits a traffic violation and shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100.00 and not more than $200.00 for a first violation, and of not less than $250.00 and not more than $500.00 for a second or subsequent violation within any two-year period.

    (2) A person convicted of violating this section while operating within the following areas shall have four points assessed against his or her driving record for a first conviction and five points assessed for a second or subsequent conviction:

    (A) a properly designated work zone in which construction, maintenance, or utility personnel are present; or

    (B) a school zone marked with warning signs conforming to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

    (3) A person convicted of violating this section outside the areas designated in subdivision (2) of this subsection shall have two points assessed against his or her driving record.

    (d)(1) Operators of commercial motor vehicles shall be governed by the provisions of chapter 39 of this title (Commercial Driver License Act) instead of the provisions of this chapter with respect to the handheld use of mobile telephones and texting while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

    (2) A person shall not be issued more than one complaint for any violation of this section, section 1095a of this title (junior operator use of portable electronic devices), or section 1099 of this title (texting prohibited) that arises from the same incident. (Added 2013, No. 57, § 26, eff. Jan. 1, 2014; amended 2013, No. 189 (Adj. Sess.), § 40, eff. Oct. 1, 2014; 2015, No. 50, § 12; 2017, No. 71, § 12.)