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Indiana's hands-free driving law goes into effect tomorrow

Posted at 6:18 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 18:18:51-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It's a new law and one that will impact every person who drives a car. Starting Wednesday, Indiana's new hands-free cell phone law goes into effect.

It's a big change for drivers across the state. If you want to use your phone for a call or GPS, you'll now have to do it hands-free.

Speeding, tailgating and weaving in and out of lanes — they're dangerous driving habits and ones police said they've seen from people holding their phone.

"Whether it be just talking on it or trying to text or using it for directions whatever it may be their phone is in their hand and their driving behavior often is dictated by that distraction," Sgt. John Perrine, of the Indiana State Police, said.

A distraction and danger that can change lives forever.

It's something Kelly Seyer knows all too well.

"I'm sure it was a two-second thing to look down at the phone and there was my husband," Seyer said.

Seyer's husband, Brian, was hit and killed by a distracted driver in 2011 when their kids were just six and 10. Ever since then she's been advocating for a law like this.

"I feel like it was an avoidable accident like that didn't have to happen had someone made a different choice about what their driving safety was he would still be alive today," Seyer said.

Under the new law, drivers will have to use Bluetooth, a headset or dashboard mount if they need to use their phone in the car. If police see a driver with a phone in hand they can pull the driver over and write a ticket.

"I think it is going to make the roads safer for everyone and everyone needs to take responsibility to change their behavior and keep their phone out of their hands," Perrine said. "I think if we can all do that I think we will reduce crashes by a significant number."

And hopefully save lives.

"I just don't want any other family to go through that and if this law somebody can be driving along and think about my story or someone else they know or they just don't want to get a ticket and put their phone down then that is amazing," Seyer said.

State police said they are going to be using the next few months to educate drivers and will likely start writing tickets for holding your cell phone later this year.