House votes to ban texting and driving

April 17, 2009 

The state House adopted a bill Thursday that would make it a crime to send a text message or e-mail message while driving a car.

The bill, which now heads to the Senate, cleared the House 104-5. Its adoption was delayed while House members worked out language that would affect lawsuits following collisions in which texting was a factor. The compromise essentially says that texting alone isn't enough to prove negligence.

The bill would make texting behind the wheel an infraction punishable by a $100 fine. Texting while driving a school bus would be a misdemeanor punishable by a $200 fine.

Lawmakers acknowledge that the bill may be hard to enforce.

Staff Writer Benjamin Niolet

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