State lawmakers are trying to make distracted drivers feel the pain. The bill that passed the Senate would add a point to a driver’s record for using a phone at the wheel. Sen. Josh Newman says a moving violation is a lot bigger penalty than a ticket and that could raise insurance rates.
"That will perspectively influence your insurance, but also if you have enough points, you'll jeopardize your privilege to drive. So we hope the assumption is that will increase deterrence and make people think seriously about it."
The bill would not raise the actual price of a ticket. Right now the first offense is 20 bucks.
"It seems clear that the deterrent effect of current law is insufficient to make that happen," said Newman. "It's a matter of getting people attention and making it very clear that this is dangerous and it's not necessary and so to be mindful behind the wheel."