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New Proposal Could Change State Texting And Driving Fines

New Proposal Could Change State Texting And Driving Fines

CREATED Feb 19, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Some state lawmakers appear poised to tackle the issue of texting and driving. The bill was one of several heard Wednesday in a House Transportation and Safety Subcommittee.  

The proposal would include a warning on first offense if charged with texting and driving. Second offense would bring court cost and third offense would be a hefty $500 fine.  

"I think it's important that we somehow or another get people to understand you do not need to be on a cell phone or hold any other hand held device in your hand while you're driving," said Democratic Representative Johnny Shaw of Bolivar.     

Representative Shaw told the House Transportation and Safety Subcommittee he had two fatalities in his district this past fall because of texting and driving. He says he's working on a bill to try and stop texting and driving in Tennessee.

No action was taken on his proposal Wednesday.  

The House Transportation and Safety Subcommittee did pass another proposal that would increase the fine for not wearing your seatbelt.    

The fine would increase from 10 to 25 dollars on a first offense. Then on any subsequent offense it would go from 20 to 50 dollars.      

The Tennessee Highway Patrol says similar increases in other states have decreased deaths between 4 and 11 percent.  

The bill still has to go to full committee and be heard in the Senate.