Texting And Driving Fines Vary By State, This Map Shows You The Cost

Are you aware that texting while driving can cost you anywhere from a slap on the wrist to upwards of $10,000, depending on the State where the offense occurs? From $20 in California to a whopping $10,000 in Alaska, fines are meant to deter a practice that many safety experts have called just as dangerous as drunk driving.

The team at Mother Jones has compiled a clever map which showcases the fines for each state and some driving regulations. For example, in several states only new drivers are banned from texting. In other states semi-drivers and bus drivers are not allowed to text message while driving.

The only areas lacking statewide bans for texting while driving are Montana, South Dakota, South Carolina, and Arizona.

Based on the Mother Jones map the median penalty nationwide is $100.

It should be noted that the map lists maximum fines. For example, in Alaska a $10,000 fine will only be handed down in very rare cases. The $10,000 fine is meant to stop drivers from being a “menace on the road.” In extreme cases resulting in death a fine up to $250,000 may be ordered alongside 20 years in prison.

Texting while driving causes more than 100,000 accidents per year and countless deaths. Many states that have not fully banned text messaging are working towards a January 1, 2014 ban date or another date in the near future.

In some states, such as California, it is also illegal to simply make a phone call from a cellular device unless a hands-free option is utilized.

Do you think higher fines should be issued in California, Illinois, and other areas where texting while driving is only slightly punished with a fine that is often less than speeding?

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