HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — State lawmakers are holding a public hearing on increasing the fines for violating Connecticut's ban on using hand-held cell phones while driving.
The Transportation Committee has set the hearing for 10 a.m. Monday in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
The proposed bill would double the fines for talking on cell phones without hands-free devices, texting and other cell phone use while driving.
"I think it is really important that we deter people from getting distracted on the road, because it's just as bad as drinking and driving and you can really hurt somebody," said Lindsay Novak, of Florida.
The current fines are $100 for a first violation, $150 for a second violation and $200 for subsequent violations. Some lawmakers want to increase the penalties to $200 for a first violation, $300 for a second violation and $500 for subsequent violations.
"I don't think it's enough. They should charge more for texting and driving. It's outrageous to see people, even at the light, texting, and when the light changes, they're still texting," said Justin Clarke, of Hamden.
Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of car crashes across the country, and now with smart phones being so popular, the number of people using phones while driving is on the rise.
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