Proposed Bill Would Fine Motorists $2,000 for Texting & Driving

If you’re one of the many drivers out there who still give into the temptation of picking up your phone to text or make calls, it looks like lawmakers have noticed you and are not willing to give up the fight against the potentially deadly habit.

State legislators in Oregon are looking to pass a bill that would fine motorists a first-time offender’s ticket of $435 and a maximum of a whopping $2,000 for using hand-held portable devices, while behind the wheel. The current fine is $110 for a first offense with a maximum penalty of $500.

Additionally, California lawmakers are looking to ban the use of any type of  “electronic wireless communications device,” for teen motorists, including those that are hands-free, voice activated, or built into the car.

The fines for violating the law would be $20 for a first offense and $50 for subsequent violations – these are the same consequences for the current hands-free laws.

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So why are states cracking down so hard?

According to The Oregonian, although the number of accidents caused in Oregon by use of mobile phones is lower than it was in 2009 — when the $500 penalty law was implemented — it is still not down significantly enough and has in fact crept back up from the initial drop.

As for California, Democrat Cathleen Galgiani introduced the bill because she believes that “even though [teens] may not be manually distracted, they could be visually or cognitively distracted by using Siri and Bluetooth technology and touch-screen technology on the vehicles,” according to her spokesman Thomas Lawson, who also added the California Highway Patrol estimates that 50 % of all teens pulled over are distracted by texting or other technology at the time.

What do you think about the proposed bills? Would such laws convince you to give up the texting and driving habit? Give us your thoughts below.

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