Ban On Texting While Driving Clears House

SANTA FE, N.M. – A bill passed by the House on Tuesday will prohibit drivers from typing, sending or reading a text message from a cell phone or mobile communications device. Violations would be subject to a $25 fine.

Democratic Rep. Antonio Lujan of Las Cruces said texting distracts drivers and increases the chances of a traffic crash.

Thirty states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The bill cleared the House on a 58-7 vote and goes to the Senate.

Opponents said existing laws, such as those against careless driving, should cover drivers who are texting.

The bill allows motorists to text if they are safely stopped in their vehicle.