The state Assembly has approved a ban on texting for anyone behind the wheel of a car.

During debate in the Assembly on Tuesday, state Representative Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) argued that existing rules against inattentive driving should be sufficient. He says the bill just sends the message that this is dangerous, but it will be very difficult to actually enforce.

However, state Representative Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) says the law is needed to help people realize that texting and driving is far more dangerous. He says studies have shown that texting can be more dangerous than driving drunk, because drivers can have their eyes off the road for long periods of time.

Under the bill, first time violators would face a fine of up to $400 and repeat offenders could pay double that amount. State Representative Kitty Rhoades (R-Hudson) says that could be difficult for some families to handle and would punish parents for what their kids may do.

The bill passed on an 89-6 vote. It now heads to the Senate, which has already approved similar legislation.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:10)


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