A ban on texting while driving may yet get accomplished in this session of the legislature. The state Senate passed a texting while driving ban (SB 103) back in October, but state Senator John Lehman is asking his colleagues to pass the slightly modified Assembly version of the bill. The Assembly bill (AB 496), passed in January, includes provisions which allow drivers to use mobile radios and on-line notification systems offered on some newer vehicles.

The Assembly bill also clarifies driving versus operating. “I don’t think any of us want someone arrested who’s sitting on the side of the road, texting,” said Lehman.

The “new and improved” bill includes the same stiff fines for texting behind the wheel as the Senate version. First offense would be 100 to 400 dollars, second and succeeding offenses, 200 to 800 dollars. Compare that to the current fine for inattentive driving, which is just twenty bucks. Committee approval Thursday cleared the way for a Senate vote on the bill.

AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:65 MP3) AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:65 MP3)

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