North Dakota defines distracted driving as any time the driver engages in an activity that sidetracks their attention from the task of operating a vehicle. The three main types of distractions are visual, manual, and cognitive. The following are considered distractions in North Dakota:

  • Texting while driving
  • Changing a song or scrolling on the iPod
  • Eating or drinking
  • Talking on the phone
  • Talking to passengers or passengers distracting the driver
  • Waving to other people while driving
  • Entering an address in your GPS

Texting while driving is illegal for drivers of all experience levels and ages in North Dakota. Furthermore, drivers are prohibited from accessing web pages while driving as well. Drivers who are under 18 years of age are not allowed to use their cell phone at any time while operating a motor vehicle.


  • Texting while driving illegal for drivers of all ages
  • Accessing web pages while driving is prohibited
  • Drivers under 18 years of age are not allowed to use cell phones at all
  • Drivers over 18 years of age are allowed to make call from a handheld or hands free device while driving down the road

If a law enforcement officer sees a driver texting while driving, or breaking a cell phone law above, they can pull that person over. They do not have to see them commit any other violation first, as the texting and cell phone laws are primary laws in North Dakota.

Fine for texting and driving

  • $100

According to North Dakota’s Department of Transportation’s website, the most common distraction for drivers is cell phones. In 2009, distracted drivers killed 5,474 people. The site suggests that drivers pull over to a safe spot on the side of the road to answer a phone call, or to make a call. It is a good idea to practice safe driving techniques and put your cell phone away while you are behind the wheel of a vehicle.

This article originally appeared on as Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in North Dakota and was authored by Valerie Johnston.

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