By its nature, driving requires multitasking and the skills to pay attention to several things at once. Our ability to drive safely depends on a focused effort—it’s a recipe for disaster for a driver to take on additional tasks and unrelated mental engagement while traveling down the road.
Advancing technology—and the greater numbers of smart phones as well as our reliance on these devices have combined to generate a growing hazard of inattentive drivers on our roadways.
North Dakota Distracted Driving Law
Text messaging is prohibited for all drivers.
- This law carries a $100 fine. This law went into effect August 1, 2011.
- For more detailed information, view the North Dakota Century Code 39-08-23 and 39-08-24
Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using any electronic communications devices, including cell phones.
- 14 and 15 year olds: This law carries a $20 fine and 4 points on your driver record.
- For more detailed information, view the North Dakota Century Code 39-06-17(4)(c)
- 16 and 17 year olds: This law carries a $20 fine and no points on your driver record.
- For more detailed information, view the North Dakota Century Code 39-08-24
Effective August 1, 2017, the law was expanded to include distracted driving to mean any distraction that impairs the ability to safely operate the vehicle.
- If you’re distracted while driving and commit a traffic violation, the driver (any age) can be given a $100 citation for distracted driving. This new expanded part of the law is effective August 1, 2017.
- For more detailed information, view the North Dakota Century Code 39-08-25
Resources to Utilize
Distraction.gov (NHTSA – National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s official website for distracted driving)
The Parent Supervised Driving Program – Parent and teen resources and info to help teens during the learner’s permit period
Traffic Safety Marketing (TSM) – NHTSA site for communications resource for states, partner organizations, and highway safety professionals
Travelers, “Every Second Matters “ – A conversation starter on reducing distracted driving risk
Toyota Teen Drive365 in School – Tools for educators and teens
Videos about Distracted Driving
Phone Apps to Reduce Distraction
Why use a mobile app or device to prevent texting and driving?
Motor vehicle crashes kill more teenagers than all other major causes combined. Texting and driving is killing more teens than drinking and driving. If technology is the problem, maybe technology is the solution.
WHAT A PHONE APP OR DEVICE WILL DO
There are a variety of applications and devices available. Basically, most of them lock the phone or block the signal while the vehicle is in motion. Willpower and promises are admirable, but this is a sure thing.
- Eliminate the temptation to take that call or read that text
- Prevent an expensive traffic citation—$100 fine for texting and driving
- Create a record for rewarding safe driving behavior
- Provide peace of mind for you as a parent
SOME APPS HAVE A REWARD PROGRAM
Your teen can earn gift cards to Amazon, iTunes, or other rewards
THERE’S ENOUGH FOR NOVICE DRIVERS TO DO
- Driving is tough enough; it is a full-time job that requires complete attention
- When your teen focuses on driving, they can become a better driver faster
FALSE SENSE OF CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY
Teens are so skilled at texting, they think they can handle it while driving. Teen drivers are also more likely to text or talk in high-risk situations, because they may not recognize the hazards as a more experienced driver would.
RESPONSIBILITY TO OTHER MOTORISTS AND PEDESTRIANS
Distracted driving is a factor in more crashes and near crashes than any other single cause. By shutting down the phone while driving, your teen greatly reduces the risk of a crash—and could save the whole family a life-changing tragedy.
Many text messages are ordinary touching base—where are you; what are you doing—no one should be risking their life for small talk. But imagine another scenario where a teen behind the wheel reads more emotional news. How would your teen react on receiving a break-up message or bad news; how would that affect his or her driving? Anyone would want to be able to react, but certainly not in traffic!