More states ban texting while driving

Four states recently approved laws banning texting while driving.

In May, Kansas (.pdf file) became the 26th state to pass a primary law prohibiting texting by all drivers. Drivers caught texting will receive warnings until Jan. 1, 2011, after which law enforcement will issue a $60 fine for a violation.

Vermont became the 27th state to ban texting while driving for all drivers. Effective June 1, the law also forbids all cell phone use for drivers 18 and younger. According to the Department of Transportation, drivers face a $100 penalty for the first violation and a $250 penalty for repeat violations that occur within a two-year period. In addition, the primary law, which prohibits all cell phone use for drivers up to age 18, imposes special penalties for these drivers if they are caught texting. After a single texting violation, teens can lose their learner's permit or junior operator license for 30 days.

Georgia on June 7 became the 28th state to pass a primary law banning texting for all drivers. The law also forbids cell phone use and texting for young drivers with a provisional license. Violators face a penalty of $150 and one point against their driver's license.

A primary law banning school bus, transit and teen drivers in Oklahoma (MS Word doc) from cell phone use and texting while driving is scheduled to go into effect Nov. 1.

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