Bill proposes to raise fines for driving while texting

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont lawmakers have introduced a bill that would increase fines for texting while driving and other distracted driving offenses.

The Times Argus reports the bill would raise the penalty for first offenders from the current maximum of $200 to $500, and it would add five points to the offender's driving record.

Juvenile offenders would not be fined, but would receive five points on his or her record. The bill says minors will lose their learner's permit for 30 days for getting three points and 90 days for getting six points.

Republican Rep. Butch Shaw, co-sponsor of the bill, says he supports it because it would create "serious penalties" for people using hand-held devices while driving.

The bill is currently under review by the House Committee on Transportation.

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Information from: The Times Argus, http://www.timesargus.com/