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Traveling out of state? Know the laws about cellphone use behind the wheel

Texting while driving is more than simply unsafe.

In 46 states and the District of Columbia, it’s against the law. That includes all four states that are home to BSA high-adventure bases: Florida, Minnesota, New Mexico and West Virginia.

Talking on a handheld cellphone while driving is banned in 14 states and the District of Columbia. West Virginia — home to the Summit Bechtel Reserve and the 2017 National Jamboree — is on that list, too.

This reminder comes as many Boy Scout troops, Venturing crews and Sea Scout ships prepare to hit the road for summer Scouting adventures.

Bottom line: Before you go, learn the laws.

Texting while driving laws

Click the map to be taken to a state-by-state table.

If your trip takes you into one of the 46 states with a texting ban, a violation could cost you between $20 and $300 for a first offense.

Driving to the 2017 Jamboree? The list includes West Virginia and all five states that surround it.

Plus, the BSA’s Guide to Safe Scouting has, for some time, forbidden Scout leaders from texting while driving.

Drivers must refrain from using hand-held cell phones while driving. Text messaging while driving is prohibited. Hands-free units are acceptable but must be used sparingly while driving.

That means even if you drive through Montana, Arizona, Texas or Missouri — the four states without full bans on texting while driving — you still should keep that phone stowed.

Handheld cellphone use laws

Click the map to be taken to a state-by-state table.

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have bans on handheld cellphone use while driving.

Once again, the BSA’s Guide to Safe Scouting:

Drivers must refrain from using hand-held cell phones while driving. Text messaging while driving is prohibited. Hands-free units are acceptable but must be used sparingly while driving.

Let’s say you’re driving from Indiana or Michigan to the Jamboree. The moment you cross from Ohio into West Virginia, you’re susceptible to fines if caught using a handheld device while driving.

Free driver improvement training for Scouters

I previously told you about The Hartford Driver Improvement Program, a free online training for Scout leaders who drive.

Go here to take the course.

Traveling out of state? Know the laws about cellphone use behind the wheel

Post expires on Sunday August 20th, 2017

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