Expectations of Driver and Passenger Behavior Aren't Universal

Speed limits aren't the only traffic law that changes with border crossings!  Not only do speeding fines vary from a $20 max all the way up to $2,000 for going 10mph over but there are states where things are legal that most places ban.


Seat Belts and Child Restraints

Who exactly has to wear a seat belt? While every state requires young passengers to be secured in child restraints not all of them mandate that adults buckle up as well. One state even allows drivers to be unbuckled!

Just over half the states require everyone in the vehicle to wear a seat belt while others only do so for front seat riders. The fine for failure to comply can be as high as $250 in some places, while in others you can't even be legally pulled over for this unless you're breaking another law.

Headphones and Earbuds

Is that erratic driver with headphones on really driving legally? Only 14 states have made this an actual crime, so its quite possible.

Of the states where it's illegal there are several exceptions. Hearing aids or protective headgear are usually allowed and nearly two out of three allow earphones in only one ear while driving.

Fines vary but are similar to those for not wearing a seat belt.


Cell Phone Use

Texting, making calls, browsing the web and more are all dangerous activities when driving. Most states have moved to make some or all cell phone use illegal, but this takes many different forms.

  • Four states impose no bans on drivers over 21 in passenger vehicles from using cell phones
  • In those that do impose bans, fines range from $20 to $3,000
  • About two-thirds only ban texting while allowing other use
  • Exemptions can include being stopped in traffic, parked, checking the weather, getting directions, contacting emergency services and more

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