New Mexico Lawmakers Consider Texting Ban for Drivers

By BARRY MASSEY | January 30, 2014

Democratic Sen. Peter Wirth says he’s optimistic this will be the year New Mexico joins 41 other states in banning texting while driving.

A Senate committee considers a proposal on Tuesday to prohibit drivers from sending or reading a text message and email or making an Internet search from a cell phone or other handheld communications device. There would be a $25 fine for a first violation and $50 for a second violation.

Wirth said texting distracts a driver and increases the chances of a traffic accident.

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez said the proposal is unnecessary because careless driving laws can address the issue.

New Mexico prohibits texting for teenage drivers with a learner’s or provisional license.

Texting bans for all drivers have failed in the Legislature since 2009.

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