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No more texting and driving as new law takes effect

New cell phone and seat belts laws go into effect Oct. 1

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Published on: Friday, September 27, 2013

By Jim Davis

A law that allows police officers to pull over drivers using their hand-held mobile phones while driving goes into effect Tuesday.

Police will be able to pull drivers over without needing an unrelated violation in order to make the stop. Fines for first-time violators will increase from $40 to $75. Fines will be $125 for a second violation and $175 for a third or subsequent violation, police said.

About 660,000 drivers use cell phones at any given time during daylight hours in the United States.

It is estimated in 2012 that at least 23 percent of all car accidents each year involve cell phone use. That’s 1.3 million crashes nationwide.

Also starting on Oct. 1, drivers can’t transport more people in a vehicle then they have seat belts. Drivers will be fined $50 per each unbelted passenger. The fine was $25.

Also the mandatory use of child safety seats applies to the transportation of all children younger than age 8, unless the child is 4-feet-9 or taller.

These new laws were enacted to help reduce the number of accidents occurring due to distracted driving and to reduce injuries resulting from unrestrained occupants.

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