Here’s What Texting While Driving Will Cost You in the US

    October 25, 2013
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

If you’re caught texting while driving, the fine you could be forced to pay varies wildly depending on which US state you’re in when you’re caught in the act.

According to a handy map compiled by Mother Jones, the lowest maximum fine for a first-time offender resides in California at just $20. And according to the map, you really don’t want to be caught texting while driving in Alaska.

Only four states – Montana, South Dakota, South Carolina, and Arizona – currently have no statewide bans on texting while driving. The median penalty nationwide for the offense comes in at $100.

Texting while driving fines

Of course, these are the maximum fines that can be levied. In a state like Alaska, prosecutors have stated that this maximum fine would only be levied in rare circumstances where the party was deemed a “menace on the road.” Still, Alaska is by far the worst place to get caught with your phone out on the road – especially if your texting results in an injury to another driver. In Alaska, if your texting while driving results in the death of another motorist, you could be hit with a $250,000 fine and be forced to spend 20 years in prison.

Long story short – don’t text and drive. Anywhere. Every year, the reckless practice is responsible for over 100,000 automobile crashes. It’s stupid, and I promise you that whatever you’re saying can wait.

Image via Thinkstock

  • Reality

    I have no problems with fining people for texting and driving. It really is dangerous and quite stupid.

    What I have a problem with is that everything is different depending on what state you are in. To me, the danger is the same and all fines should be the same. It is like that for other crimes too. In some states, a crime is a misdemeanor and in others it is a felony.

    Of course, some states make more major money off of locking people up. Go into the deep south and just look at the prison industries there. The south never really gave up slavery. They just moved slaves into the penal system. It is actually quite horrible. Ever go to a prison industry convention? I have. It is sickening.

  • http://www.OTTERapp.com Erik Wood

    Text and Drive recently became the #1 killer of teens in the US – more lethal than drunk driving. I think its starting to become clear that legislation has value in raising public awareness in forums like this one but it will be difficult to solely legislate our way out of this issue. I also read that over 3/4 of teens text daily – many text more than 4000 times a month. New college students no longer have email addresses! They use texting and Facebook – even with their professors. Tweens (ages 9 -12) send texts to each other from their bikes. Technology needs to be part of the solution and not dismissed as the villain.

    I decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user, I built a texting asset called OTTER that is a simple and intuitive GPS based, texting auto reply app for smartphones. While driving, OTTER silences those distracting call ringtones and chimes unless a bluetooth is enabled. The texting auto reply allows anyone to schedule a ‘texting blackout period’ in any situation like a meeting or a lecture without feeling disconnected. This software is a social messaging tool for the end user that also empowers this same individual to be a sustainably safer driver.

    Erik Wood, owner
    OTTER apps (Since 2010. Free)
    do one thing well… be great.

  • http://www.mysocialmediafoundations.com irene

    its dangerous and stupid can people not stay off their phones for an hour are so on a long journey. Lock them up and throw away the key so they can’t kill anyone elses child, are family member.