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Title 23

Displaying title 23, up to date as of 9/23/2021. Title 23 was last amended 9/20/2021.

Title 23

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§ 1200.24 Distracted driving grants.

(a) Purpose. This section establishes criteria, in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 405(e), for awarding grants to States that enact and enforce laws prohibiting distracted driving, beginning with fiscal year 2014 grants.

(b) Definitions. As used in this section -

Driving means operating a motor vehicle on a public road, including operation while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic light or stop sign, or otherwise, but does not include operating a motor vehicle when the vehicle has pulled over to the side of, or off, an active roadway and has stopped in a location where it can safely remain stationary.

Texting means reading from or manually entering data into a personal wireless communications device, including doing so for the purpose of SMS texting, emailing, instant messaging, or engaging in any other form of electronic data retrieval or electronic data communication.

(c) Qualification criteria. To qualify for a distracted driving grant in a fiscal year, a State shall submit the assurances in Part 4 of Appendix D, signed by the Governor's Representative for Highway Safety, providing legal citations to the State statute or statutes demonstrating compliance with the following requirements:

(1) Prohibition on texting while driving. The statute shall -

(i) Prohibit drivers from texting through a personal wireless communications device while driving;

(ii) Make a violation of the law a primary offense; and

(iii) Establish -

(A) A minimum fine of $25 for a first violation of the law; and

(B) Increased fines for repeat violations within five years of the previous violation.

(2) Prohibition on youth cell phone use while driving. The statute shall -

(i) Prohibit a driver who is younger than 18 years of age from using a personal wireless communications device while driving;

(ii) Make a violation of the law a primary offense;

(iii) Require distracted driving issues to be tested as part of the State's driver's license examination; and

(iv) Establish -

(A) A minimum fine of $25 for a first violation of the law; and

(B) Increased fines for repeat violations within five years of the previous violation.

(3) Permitted exceptions. A State statute providing for the following exceptions, and no others, shall not be deemed out of compliance with the requirements of this section:

(i) A driver who uses a personal wireless communications device to contact emergency services;

(ii) Emergency services personnel who use a personal wireless communications device while operating an emergency services vehicle and engaged in the performance of their duties as emergency services personnel; and

(iii) An individual employed as a commercial motor vehicle driver or a school bus driver who uses a personal wireless communications device within the scope of such individual's employment if such use is permitted under the regulations promulgated pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 31136.

(d) Use of grant funds.

(1) At least 50 percent of the grant funds awarded under this section shall be used to educate the public through advertising containing information about the dangers of texting or using a cell phone while driving, for traffic signs that notify drivers about the distracted driving law of the State, or for law enforcement costs related to the enforcement of the distracted driving law;

(2) Not more than 50 percent of the grant funds awarded under this section may be used for any eligible project or activity under 23 U.S.C. 402.