The Idaho legislature adjourned for the year last night. Lawmakers spent much of the final day on a last-minute attempt to ban texting while driving. But in a surprise, the bill failed.
Supporters of a texting ban thought they had a compromise that would satisfy members of the House and the Senate. Each chamber had easily approved a bill that would have set fines at 50-dollars for the first texting ticket and 100-dollars for each subsequent one.
But on Monday afternoon, the Senate changed the bill to strengthen the penalties against people who cause property damage or injuries because they caused an accident while texting. Those changes ultimately killed the proposal because the House couldn't muster enough votes to accept them. After the failed vote, the legislature adjourned.
So, that leaves Idaho as the only state in the Northwest that has not banned texting while driving. It's also the only state in the region to allow motorists to drive with a cell phone to their ear. A bill to ban that died in committee.
Copyright 2010 Northwest News Network