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40 states now ban texting in cars

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

Hawaii has enacted a law making it the 40th state in the nation to ban texting while driving a car. The law, which goes into effect July 1, is the first anti-texting law passed this year.

Laws against texting while driving dramatically increased in 2009, when AAA started a campaign to have the practice outlawed in all 50 states. Prior to 2009, just 18 states had laws against texting while driving. Florida is expected to ban the practice soon, leaving just Arizona, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina and Texas with no laws against texting while driving.

Those who text while driving are six times more likely to crash their cars than those who aren't, according to a 2009 University of Utah study.  A survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that 35 percent of those surveyed admitted to reading a text within the last 30 days and 27 percent said they had sent a text or email within the prior month. That same surveyed showed that 86 percent of those surveyed support laws against reading, typing, or sending a text or email while driving, and 95 percent consider it unacceptable to send a text or email while driving.

Do you send text messages from your cellphone while driving? Does your state ban the practice?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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June 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm

It's for the "STUPID" drivers protection.

June 21, 2013 at 12:25 pm

It will always be people who will agree and disagree no matter what laws goes in effect. Use your common sense..

June 21, 2013 at 12:23 pm

i think the law is to little with a $100 fine--should be about $500--because a 100 is no sweat for most people..and 16 year olds should have to ride with an adult until daughter got hit a fews weeks ago--he was 16 1/2 and the cop never wrote him a ticket..but you know someone has someone in their pocket..anyway the fine should be more..ty.

June 21, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Texting while driving not only put yourself in danger, but also other people lives in danger. It is bad to be stupid and careless at the same time. Texting while driving need to be ban in all states. I was taught by using common sense goes a long ways and will take you further in life. MK has said, if you have an emergency message, pull over somewhere. Wise counceling goes a long ways....

June 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm


June 21, 2013 at 11:45 am

In South Carolina, we can't text in some counties like Richland and's $100 fine IF caught but the office can't check your phone.

June 21, 2013 at 9:55 am

what I think on this is that texting and driving is never good why would people take their time to look at their phone than the road their just putting themselves in more harm. It's really stupid to text and drive and I'm glad they are banning it.

DH Bazemore
June 21, 2013 at 9:42 am

South Carolina will be the LAST State to do anything about it. No wonder we're at the bottom of the barrel.

June 21, 2013 at 9:33 am

Texting while driving is irresponsible. If it's so important, pull over somewhere.

June 21, 2013 at 9:25 am

"Those who text while driving are six times more likely to crash their cars than..." Need to rephrase that: How about crash other pepole's cars?