NEWPORT — Many of us are guilty of doing it, but starting October 1, we can expect to be pulled over and issued a ticket if caught by police. Governor Shumlin is expected to sign a ban on hand held cell phone use while driving.
The penalty for driving while using a cell phone in Vermont will start with a 100 fine.
There are a few exceptions though. Hands-free cell phone use will be allowed, and, no points will go on your license as a result of being issued a ticket. Further offenses would have greater penalties.
One of the compromises in the bill which pushed back the official start date of the law from July to October, requires the state time to put up road signs and educate the public about the new law.
The House’s original proposal also called for those caught to receive two points on their license. Shumlin, who wasn’t keen on the new law anyway, softened on the issue now that no points will go against a driver who is ticketed for the offense.
On Wednesday, House members voted 129-6 Wednesday in favor of a Department of Motor Vehicles bill that included the ban, and on Thursday the Senate voted 25-4 in favor of the new law.