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Is a $10,000 fine for texting and driving too much?

December 25, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

In Michigan, violation of the texting while driving ban is a mere “civil infraction” that is punishable by a mere $100 fine for a first offense and $200 for second and  subsequent offenses. MCL 257.602b.

Why aren’t legislators doing more to stop people from this dangerous and deadly behavior?

Consider the fines that other states impose for texting while driving (first offense).

michigan-texting-fines-compared

Twenty-two states impose harsh fines (more harsh than Michigan) to deter drivers from texting while driving. Below are the “first offense” fines charged by other states, compared to the $100 charged to first-time texting drivers in Michigan:

  • Alaska, $10,000
  • Illinois, $1,000
  • Utah, $750
  • Indiana, $500
  • Maine, $500
  • Maryland, $500
  • Mississippi, $500
  • Oklahoma, $500
  • Oregon, $500
  • New Jersey, $400
  • Wisconsin, $400
  • Minnesota, $300
  • Oregon, $250
  • Washington, $250
  • Texas, $200
  • Missouri, $200
  • Nebraska, $200
  • Louisiana, $175
  • Georgia, $150
  • New York, $150
  • Ohio, $150
  • Connecticut, $125

I don’t think people are doing too much texting while driving on the roads in Alaska.  And that is the point, isn’t it? Texting while driving is causing motorists to drive distracted. It is causing thousands of motor vehicle accidents across the country.  It has been shown to be incredibly dangerous – to see how dangerous texting while driving is, click here.

And what about jail time?

Tomorrow, I’ll discuss what other states are doing to stop texting while driving, including imposing criminal sentences and even jail time.

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