Should Repeat Talk and Text Offenders Receive a Higher Fine?

Washington State is considering an increase in fines for drivers caught texting or talking on a cell phone. Do you think offenders should pay more?

Drivers who continually text and talk behind the wheel could face higher fines, if some in the legislature have their way.

Currently, a driver caught texting or talking on a cell phone while driving pays a $124 fine, regardless of how many citations received.

And the number of offenders is growing. Last year, the Washington State Patrol issued 8,000 citations and 10,000 warnings to drivers caught on their cell phones behind the wheel.

Because the citation fee doesn’t increase with the number of offenses, Washington isn’t eligible for Congressional grants supporting local transportation.

However, officials with the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission would like to see that change and bring in more funding—increasing fine amounts could be a topic of discussion at the next legislative session.

Read more on the Tacoma News Tribune.

Do you think drivers should pay more for texting and talking on a cell phone behind the wheel? Tell us in the comments.

Lawrence Rissler December 05, 2012 at 05:18 AM
If a person is caught texting a second time the fine should double. The third time they loss their driving license for one year. Lets make our road a safe place...
Musique December 05, 2012 at 03:14 PM
There should be no first chances in my mind, they know the law, they know it is wrong, why should they get a reprieve? I will go even further and suggest that texters be treated like drivers under the influence and be thrown in jail for 30 day and have a $5000.00 fine (or whatever the penalty is for this CRIME is these days) and at a minimum do community service for a month the first time. I agree with Lawrence, lets make the roads safer. It's time to quit babying criminals.
mary k December 05, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Yes I agree with both Lawrence and Musique. How about making them take classes and pay for them like they do for drinking and driving. there are too many dying everyday because of texting. and I think its worse then drinking because the young Inexperienced drivers out there are doing it more then anyone. .
Jennifer December 06, 2012 at 03:14 AM
I am your local American Family agent and I agree absolutely with Mary's suggestions. I do also believe that they do need to have heftier fines and/or raised if they get multiple or repeat tickets. We are seeing soo many accidents and it affects all of us!!! Insurance companies have rate increases because we pay for everyone's accidents together, This is an area that more and more insurance companies are looking at to see what we can do to help make our roads safer. Teens texting is scary. They probably average about 3,000 to 5,000 texts a month and just think about how many of those are while they are driving. They need to be responsible drivers. I drive down the road and see so many people looking down at their phone. Read those AT&T billboards... "It's not that important!"... read your texts when you are stopped somewhere. For those that talk on the phone while driving... Get a bluetooth!!! I'm sorry but holding your phone while it's on speaker phone, is NOT handsfree! There are so many things that we could have them do. Yes, it is like drinking and driving. It kills people and they need to get a better handle on it and not just give them a $124 fine each time.


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