(AP) - Texting while driving could hit drivers in the wallet under a bill that has passed the House. House lawmakers voted 53-17 Tuesday to bar motorists from using smartphones and other hand-held devices to send written communications.


At least 35 states and Washington D.C. ban text messaging for drivers, but legislation in Idaho has struggled to gain traction in recent years. Idaho's measure would subject texters to an $85 fine - a non-moving traffic infraction that wouldn't cost them points on their license. Boise Rep. Julie Ellsworth pushed the plan, saying a strong message from state leaders is needed to curb the deadly and growing habit. Idaho Falls Rep. Erik Simpson opposed the measure, questioning its enforceability. The Senate has approved the plan but will need to sign off on amendments.


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