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Legislators Push Total Text Driving Ban, 1 Year After Teen Ban

Last updated on Thursday, January 14, 2010

(INDIANA STATEHOUSE) - A year after Indiana banned drivers under 18 from texting while driving, two legislators want to extend the ban to everyone.

18 states have banned texting while driving. Triple-A is supporting efforts to pass similar bans in the rest.

Triple-A estimates drivers who are texting are 23 times more likely to crash, and nearly six times more likely to crash than drivers who are talking on the phone.

Deane says Triple-A would support a ban on phone conversations as well, but the organization has put that issue on the back burner after several states included exemptions for hands-free devices.

Deane says those devices are just as dangerous, because the issue is driver distraction.

With Triple-A's position not gaining traction, Deane says the organization is concentrating instead on the texting issue.

Representative Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis) has reintroduced a bill she's offered nearly every year, to ban both cell phone conversations and texting while driving.

Legislators have rejected that bill in the past, and Deane says Triple-A is more focused on two bills focusing on texting alone, authored by Representative Win Moses (D-Fort Wayne) and Senator Travis Holdman (R-Markle).

Holdman's bill would allow judges to fine violators up to $500.

Moses's version would hold the fine to $25, but would allow a fine of up to $1,000 if the driver causes an accident.

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