Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous of all distracted driving activities, because it takes your hands off the wheel and eyes and mind off the road.

In Montana, there are 2.91 distracted driving deaths per every ten billion vehicle miles traveled. This is the fifth highest rate in the country. Unfortunately, Montana is the only state in the U.S. that does not have any statewide laws against distracted driving.

Billings, Bozeman, Columbia Falls, Hamilton, Great Falls, and Whitefish all prohibit handheld cell phone use of any kind while driving. Helena prohibits all handheld cell phone use, but its law also extends to bicyclists. Missoula prohibits texting and driving. There are countywide bans in both Butte-Silver Bow and Anaconda-Deer Lodge on handheld cell phone use while driving.

www.mdt.mt.gov

The state of Idaho recently passed a 'Hands Free' driving law. The law states that if you use a cell phone while driving, it has to be hands free. The new law includes a $75 fine for the first time within three years. The second time in 3 years is $150, and the fine could be up to $300 every time after that.

To read more about the new law, click here.

According to VisionZeroMT, , there were 184 highway fatalities in 2019. There have been 87 fatalities on Montana highways in 2020 compared to 82 fatalities for this same time in 2019.

Would you be in favor of a 'hands free' cell phone law in Montana?