California Bns Txtng While Driving
Reading, sending texts will cost motorists $20
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2008 1:55 AM CDT
A driver texts a friend while standing next to his vehicle earlier this year. The university student acknowledges that he sometimes text messages friends while driving.    (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – California has become the latest state to outlaw text messaging while driving, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Motorists will be fined a minimum of $20 the first time they are caught reading or writing an electronic message behind the wheel, and $50 for any subsequent offenses.

"Texting while driving seems so obviously unsafe, it's hard to believe anyone would attempt it, yet everyday observation tells us it's all too common," said the author of the law. "This bill is a lifesaver." Safety advocates hailed the law but some said the fine was too low, suggesting the threat of a $1,000 fine would be more likely to keep drivers' eyes on the road.