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House panel backs tougher texting law

Friday - 2/1/2013, 8:50pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A House of Delegates committee has endorsed legislation cracking down on texting while driving.

Texting while driving is already punishable by a $20 fine, but it's a secondary offense. That means police can only write a ticket if they stop the motorist for another violation.

The House Courts of Justice Committee approved a bill Friday that would increase the fine to $250 and make it a primary offense, allowing police to stop and ticket anyone they spot texting behind the wheel. The fine for a second offense would double to $500. The bill will be up for a vote on the House floor Tuesday.

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee will consider similar legislation Monday.


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