Penalities for Texting While Driving Vary Based on State
With just a few exceptions, most states now have laws on their books where law enforcement can fine a driver who is caught texting while driving.
A total of 47 states enacted laws concerning this leading cause of death for teenaged drivers. In fact, Gizmodo recently put together a great,state-by-state map which displays the penalties one can incur for texting while driving.
It is interesting that Alaska imposes a fine of $10,000 for this offence while four states still have not passed laws against driving while texting.
Montana, South Dakota, Arizona, and South Carolina have not yet enacted laws against this dangerous practice.
New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Mississippi ban texting while driving for new drivers only.
Texas bans texting for new drivers and bus drivers, while Missouri only bans texting for bus drivers.
As one can see, the laws against texting while driving vary greatly from state to state.
The fines paid by those breaking this law vary greatly in those states who have passed these laws.
As mentioned above Alaska is the worst with the fine being $10,000, and California the lowest fine of $20. A person traveling and not knowing the anti-texting laws for each state may very easily learn a very expensive lesson.
It is estimated that roughly 25 percent of all traffic accidents are caused by drivers reading or sending text messages.
There are now companies who sell a service to parents and fleet owners that will disable texting on the drivers phone while the vehicle is in motion. Passengers in the vehicle are free to send and receive text messages, but the driver can’t do so. Any attempt by the driver to block or eliminate the text message restriction on his or her phone will send a notice to the parent or the fleet administrator.
This type service would give parents some peace of mind when their teenagers are out driving. I suspect that, like the seat belt laws, the no texting while driving laws will soon be on the books in every state.