Texting While Driving Can Cost You $10,000 and One Year in Jail

It may seem somewhat ridiculous that a simple text could carry such a stiff fine.

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Last night, on my way driving home from the gym, I was incredibly tempted to pick up my cell phone and text. I had just gotten a couple of messages, and I was sitting stopped at a traffic light — what’s the harm, right? Well, just as I was about to grab my phone, I noticed a police car roll up to my side. It was a close call!

But what would have happened had the policeman seen me fiddling with my iPhone? As it turns out, texting-while-driving penalities vary widely from state to state. According to a new state-by-state analysis by Mother Jones, I would have gotten off easy — the offense carries a $20 base fine in California. But had I been driving in Alaska, I could have been facing not only a $10,000 ticket, but a year in prison as well.

It may seem somewhat ridiculous that a simple text could carry such a stiff fine. But remember, more teenagers will die this year from texting behind the wheel than from drunk driving. And a recent research study shows that even hands-free texting is more dangerous than drunk driving.

Most states’ penalties fall somewhere between California’s lax $20 charge and Alaska’s brutal $10,000 fine — the median national penalty is $100. But it’s important to remember that we’re only talking about base fines. Many states, counties and towns tack on extra fees and penalties to traffic offenses. Text while driving in Los Angeles, for instance, and surcharges drive that smallest-in-the-nation fine all the way up to $159. You might also see your car-insurance rates rise as well.

Despites these ‘minor’ inaccuracies, the Mother Jones analysis should be required reading to anyone with a set of car keys and a mobile phone. No text message is worth getting into an accident over. And, certainly, no text message is worth going to jail over, either.

texting

Mother Jones

This article originally appeared on Techlicious

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4 comments
JerryGreenberg
JerryGreenberg

If you have the urge to answer or leave an important message while driving, simply find a safe place to pull over and come to a full stop. In simple words, park the vehicle in a safe spot. Once parked and in a safe spot you can text until your fingers fall off!

For texting and driving the fines are far too low in many places. They should have a minimum of $1000 fine, and the person's insurance rate should go up by an appreciable amount for at least three years. The vehicle is seized and not returned until the person pays the fine. Even if they do not own the vehicle it should be seized on the spot. There are instances when people get a fine, and neglect to pay it. Then it can take a number of years until the authorities can collect.

Law enforcement for this type of thing has to be so severe people will be frightened to text and drive. For most people paying a few hundred bucks, and then keep on driving is nowhere severe enough. They will simply do it again after a short period of time, because a few hundred dollars is not a lot of money to pay. The fines have to be very high with mandatory collection, including the seizure of the vehicle, and or property. 

ViolaPerry
ViolaPerry

The fines need to be much higher, after all, it could be you next who gets hit by someone texting.   

Rustyballs
Rustyballs

Considering the costs financially and emotionally, the penalties for texting or using a cel phone while driving need to be high. Even the Alaska fine is reasonable, when you factor in the costs to the rest of society, by those selfish people that deem it their right to over ride the rights of the innocent people sharing the same roads.

The states with no bans, need to learn lessons in financial management, since they don't mind having carnage on their roads, caused by texters.

IntangibleGuy
IntangibleGuy

Cite :"Texting While Driving Can Cost You $10,000 and One Year in Jail"

... or alternatively it could cost a couple of humans lives.

Texting while driving is one of the most despicable deeds. It comes pretty close to practicing shooting with your AK47 in your backyard amidst a village.