The penalty for texting and driving in your state

(MoneyWatch) Do you text and drive, read email and drive, or instant message and drive? Hopefully not, but the fact remains that many people are doing it. In fact, a recent study from the Governors Voice on Highway Safety shows that more than a third of drivers are reading texts and emails while driving, and the percentage of accidents in which cell phone use plays a role continues to go up.

What will it take to keep you from becoming a statistic? Just knowing that it's dangerous is apparently not good enough. But what about paying a fine? Almost every state -- all but four -- have passed legislation banning texting while driving.

What's the penalty for using your phone for text or email while driving? It varies by state. Ignoring the four states which have enacted no laws, the lightest bill you can get is in California: Just $20. That's in stark contrast to Alaska, which charges an incredible $10,000 for texting while driving. New Jersey comes down somewhere in the middle, with a $400 fee. You can see all the states in an infographic at Mother Jones, or browse this list, arranged from the most to the least costly states:

Alaska $10,000

Utah $750

Guam $500

Indiana $500

Maine $500

Oregon $500

New Jersey $400

Wisconsin $400

New York $243

North Carolina $230

Hawaii $200

Nebraska $200

Louisiana $175

Connecticut $150

Georgia $150

Ohio $150

Pennsylvania $140

Minnesota $135

Virginia $125

Washington $124

Arkansas $100

Massachusetts $100

Michigan $100

New Hampshire $100

North Dakota $100

Vermont $100

West Virginia $100

District of Columbia $100

Idaho $85

Rhode Island $85

Illinois $75

Maryland $75

Wyoming $75

Kansas $60

Tennessee $60

Colorado $50

Delaware $50

Nevada $50

Florida $30

Iowa $30

Alabama $25

Kentucky $25

California $20

Photo courtesy Mother Jones


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