ID And WV Finally Enact Texting While Driving Bans
Many states are now enacting texting while driving bans. Now, the two states of Idaho and West Virginia have finally jumped on the bandwagon and have passed bills on this issue. It is important for all of the 50 states to jump on board because the problem is one that has not gone away.
West Virginia decided to enact the law because they found that too many teens were texting while driving and were getting involved in car accidents. Teens already pay the highest car insurance rates in the nation, so enacting the law could help to reduce their insurance premium rates.
Under the new law, which is called SB 211, texting while driving is a primary driving offense while using your handset alone to talk on the phone is classified as a secondary driving offense. Both are serious offenses, and first time offenders will be slapped with a $100 fine. This may not seem like a steep fine but for teens it can put a huge pinch on their wallets. Once a driver has reached or exceeds a third offense, they will get three points on their driver’s license and will receive a $300 fine.
Teens will be hit with a harsh reality if they are a multiple offender because getting points on your driver’s license is bad news. Car insurance companies evaluate each driver’s driving record every six months to evaluate their risk. Seeing a three point violation for multiple citations for texting while driving can cause insurance premium rates to soar.
Idaho has taken a different approach with their new texting while driving law. Drivers cannot receive points on their driver’s license for the infraction because it is not considered to be a moving violation. This is good news for drivers however, people who are proven to be at fault for a car accident due to texting while driving will get a citation and their car insurance premiums will skyrocket. The fine for the offense is now $85 which is less than what most states charge.
Harsher fines could help the states make sure that drivers, especially those that are under the age of 25 get the message and obey the law. Texting while driving is seen as a more serious offense than just talking on the phone while driving. This is mainly because people have to look down and read the letters on their keyboards in order to send a text message. Hopefully, both states will see success with the new laws.