Examining the Implications of Legislation and Enforcement on Electronic Device Use While Driving

Distracted driving is a complex and ever increasing risk to public safety on roadways. Drivers’ use of electronic devices significantly diverts human attention away from the driving task. The law enforcement community faces significant challenges as electronic device use has expanded beyond simply texting, and legislation regulating electronic device use while driving is inconsistent in content and implementation. For example, many states currently prohibit texting while driving, but don't address other functions of portable and in-vehicle electronic devices. The effectiveness of current distracted driving legislation, such as primary handheld bans and texting bans, is unknown. This confusion may lead to the continued perception among drivers that it is acceptable to use electronic devices while driving. Therefore, there is a need to systematically examine relevant existing legislation and enforcement practices. The objectives of this research were to (1) examine the essential components of current state and provincial legislation (e.g., language, penalties, sanctions) used to address distracted driving while using electronic devices; (2) evaluate the benefits and impediments associated with enacting, enforcing, and adjudicating texting and hands-free legislation; and (3) develop model legislation to deter distracted driving while using electronic devices.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $250000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project BTS-03

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Governors Highway Safety Association

    444 N. Capitol Street, NW, Suite 722
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:


  • Principal Investigators:

    Benedick, Amy

  • Start Date: 20180313
  • Expected Completion Date: 20200403
  • Actual Completion Date: 20200403

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01789874
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project BTS-03
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 30 2021 11:04AM