Texting While Driving May Soon Be Banned In Idaho

Mar 20, 2012

Idaho lawmakers are one step closer to signing off on a bill that would ban texting while driving.

For years state lawmakers have tried to pass legislation that would make it illegal to text and drive. This year may be different because Tuesday the House agreed to a bill that would make texting while driving an infraction. Supporters say this would send a strong message to drivers, especially teenagers, that it's dangerous to text and drive.

Moscow Democrat Shirley Ringo put it this way to her colleagues.

“It’s incredibly irresponsible to text while you’re driving, it puts other people’s lives in danger and if this bill gives a message to some people that that’s not the right thing to do, I think it’s very much worthwhile and I hope you’ll vote for it.”

Mountain Home Republican Pete Nielson says there is a “weakness” in the bill. Insurance companies he says can't use a texting infraction to add points to a driver’s license or increase insurance premiums.

Thirty-five states including Washington and Oregon already ban texting and driving. It's now up to the Senate to consider agree to the bill before clearing it for the governor's desk.

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio