Bill Increases Fines for Texting While Driving

Published: Thursday, May. 15, 2014 – 4:33 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, May. 15, 2014 – 4:46 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California drivers would face tougher consequences for chatting and texting on their cellphones while driving under a bill that passed the California Assembly.

Lawmakers voted 66-10 Thursday to approve AB1646 by Democratic Assemblyman Jim Frazier of Oakley.

The bill more than doubles the base fees for a first violation, from $20 to $50, and boosts the fine to $100 for subsequent violations. With additional penalties, the actual fines can be more than triple those amounts.

Under Frazier’s bill, a second ticket would also come with a one-point penalty on the driver’s license, which could lead to suspensions.

The bill also requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to test would-be drivers for their knowledge of the dangers of distracted driving on driver’s license exams.

The bill heads to the Senate.

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