Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Texting ban goes into effect in July

Violations will bring fines, not points


By EXPRESS STAFF

A texting-while-driving ban, passed by the Legislature during its 2012 session, will go into effect July 1. Idaho became the 37th state to enact such a ban when Gov. Butch Otter signed the legislation in April, making texting while driving an infraction.

Banning the use of smartphones and other hand-held devices to manually review, prepare or send written communications while operating a motor vehicle, the new law will receive primary enforcement—police can stop and cite offenders for that violation alone—but offenses are not moving violations. Also, there are no points assessed against the driver's license.

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Violators can expect to pay $85 if caught by a law enforcement officer.

According to the ITD, inattention or distraction is a leading cause of motor vehicle crashes in Idaho, responsible for about one out of every five of the state's motor-vehicle crashes.




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