The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
Subchapter 009 : Violations and Penalties(Cite as: 23 V.S.A. § 1095b)
§ 1095b. Handheld use of portable electronic device prohibited
(a) Definitions. As used in this section:
(1) “Hands-free use” means the use of a portable electronic device without utilizing either hand by employing an internal feature of, or an attachment to, the device or a motor vehicle.
(2) “Public highway” means a State or municipal highway as defined in 19 V.S.A. § 1(12).
(3) “Securely mounted” means the portable electronic device is placed in an accessory specifically designed or built to support the hands-free use of a portable electronic device that is not affixed to the windshield in violation of section 1125 of this title and either:
(A) is utilized in accordance with manufacturer specifications; or
(B) causes the portable electronic device to remain completely stationary under typical driving conditions.
(4) “Use” means the use of a portable electronic device in any way that is not a hands-free use, including an operator of a motor vehicle holding a portable electronic device in the operator’s hand or hands while operating a motor vehicle.
(b) Use of handheld portable electronic device prohibited.
(1) An individual shall not use a portable electronic device while operating:
(A) a moving motor vehicle in a place open temporarily or permanently to public or general circulation of vehicles; or
(B) a motor vehicle on a public highway in Vermont, including while the vehicle is stationary, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other temporary delays.
(2) The prohibitions of this subsection shall not apply:
(A) to hands-free use;
(B) to activation or deactivation of hands-free use, provided the portable electronic device is securely mounted or the activation or deactivation is done through an internal feature of the device or the motor vehicle being operated and without the operator utilizing either hand to hold the portable electronic device;
(C) when use of a portable electronic device is necessary for an individual to communicate with law enforcement or emergency service personnel under emergency circumstances or in response to a direction or order from law enforcement;
(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; or
(F) when the operator has moved the motor vehicle to the side of or off the public highway and has halted, with or without the motor running, in a location where the vehicle can safely and lawfully remain stationary.
(1) An individual who violates this section commits a traffic violation and shall be subject to a civil penalty 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) An individual convicted of violating this section while operating within the following areas shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $200.00 and not more than $400.00 for a first violation, and of not less than $500.00 and not more than $1,000.00 for a second or subsequent violation within any two-year period and 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) An individual 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) Commercial motor vehicles.
(1) Operators of commercial motor vehicles shall be governed by the provisions of chapter 39 of this title (Commercial Driver’s 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) An individual 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; 2019, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 180; 2019, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 33; 2023, No. 41, § 18, eff. July 1, 2023.)