WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 17, 2011, 09:58 AM

ND may join states that ban texting while driving

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Bismarck lawmaker says if the North Dakota Legislature doesn't ban texting while driving, some local governments may go ahead with their own laws against it.

Rep. Lawrence Klemin (kluh-MEEN') is pushing a bill in the North Dakota Senate's Transportation Committee to ban sending text messages while driving.

Police could ticket motorists seen trying to send text messages. The penalty for a first offense is a $100 fine and two penalty points against the driver's license.

The committee is reviewing two competing proposals Thursday. One is Klemin's ban on texting while driving. The other is a more general ban on "distracted driving."

Police wouldn't be able to enforce the "distracted driving" law unless they first noticed the driver committing another traffic violation.