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RI Senate passes tougher penalties for distracted driving

The Rhode Island Senate passes legislation Wednesday to increase penalties for texting while driving and for minors who are caught using cell phones while driving.

State lawmakers prohibited texting while driving in 2009. Under the legislation, penalties would increase from $85 to $100 for a first offense; $100 to $150 for a second offense; and $125 to $250 for third and subsequent offenses.

State lawmakers prohibited minors from cell phone use while driving in 2006. The legislation passed today increases penalties from $50 to $100 for a first offense; $50 to $150 for a second offense; and $100 to $250 for third and subsequent offenses.

The legislation will now go to the Rhode Island House of Representatives for consideration.

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