FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - In 2019, there were more than 370 crashes in Indiana in which cellphone use was listed as the primary cause of the crash, leading to three fatalities.
July 1st, a new law takes effect in the Hoosier state, designed to cut down on distracted driving problems.
But the adjustment period for drivers could be difficult-- and expensive for violators.
Governor Eric Holcomb signed the new Hands Free measure into law back in March, making Indiana the 22nd state to prohibit drivers from holding or using a handheld mobile device while operating a vehicle.
People violating the law after it takes effect can be fined up to $500 and potentially lose their driver's license if violations are repeated.
Indiana's new Hands Free Law will ban a driver from holding a phone while their car is in motion, all in an effort to curb distracted driving.
Police will tell you they see a direct correlation between cellphone use behind the wheel, and drivers posing a threat to others on roadways.
"Weaving in and out of their lanes, cutting off traffic, not stopping at a stoplight, failing to proceed through a green light, all the violations that happen because we're distracted on our phones. We see that so often that I think this is going to be a major adjustment for a lot of people," said Sgt. Brian Walker, who works out of the Indiana State Police post in Fort Wayne.
To avoid violating the new law, authorities are suggesting safer ways drivers can use their phone without breaking the law.
Some of these include pairing your phone to your car with Bluetooth, connecting your phone to your car with an auxiliary cable, using your phone on speaker or using a single earphone when talking on the phone.
As for ride share services like Uber and Lyft, Indiana State Police say drivers will still be able to do their job as long as their vehicle is parked and not moving while using their phone.