More states pass laws banning texting while driving

Governors in Delaware, Massachusetts and Louisiana recently signed into law bans on texting while driving.

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) on July 6 signed a law banning drivers in the state from using handheld cell phones while driving and setting strict penalties for texting behind the wheel. Under the law, the first offense carries a penalty of $50. A second offense carries a fine of $100 to $200. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2011.

In Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick (D) on July 2 signed a law (.pdf file) that bans texting while driving for all drivers, prohibits junior operators from using cell phones and institutes new license renewal procedures for mature drivers, among other provisions. Under the new law, violators will be fined $100 for texting as a first offense, $250 for a second offense and $500 for a third. The law goes into effect in October.

On June 17, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) signed a law that changes a ban on texting while driving by all drivers to a primary offense from a secondary offense. The law also bans drivers 17 and younger from using a cell phone while driving. Drivers caught texting while driving are subject to a $175 fine for a first offense and up to $500 for subsequent offenses. The law goes into effect on Aug. 15.

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