States lining up to be 20th to ban TWD

February 18, 2010

Bills that would penalize drivers for texting while driving are edging closer to approval in a handful of states that aim to be the 20th to enact such a statewide law.

However, a number of the bills have stalled in committee review. In Kentucky, HB 43 prohibits texting while driving and establishes a probationary period ending Jan. 1, 2011, during which courtesy warnings will be issued; sets a fine for a violation between $20 to $100 for each offense after the probationary period; and excludes court costs. HB 43 was approved by the state's House of Representatives Feb. 7 and awaits state Senate committee review.

Meanwhile, in Alabama, HB 35 was referred to the state Senate on Feb. 2 after its Jan. 19 approval in the House. In Wisconsin, lawmakers on Jan. 19 approved Assembly Bill 496 (.pdf file), which makes text messaging while driving a new crime and imposes a fine of between $100 and $400 for a first offense and between $200 and $800 for a second offense, or a subsequent conviction within one year. In Michigan, the state Senate on Jan. 26 approved SB 0402 a ban on texting while driving, but the bill remains tied up in the House transportation committee.