Hammond Wants Texting While Driving to be 'Primary Offense'


Coeur d'Alene Sen. James Hammond's bill to bar texting while driving moved into the passing lane today. The Republican lawmaker presented his measure to the Senate Transportation Committee, which he also chairs.

“This bill would make it a primary offense,” said Hammond, “And would include a $100 fine.”

Sen. James Hammond: Even a tweet would be considered texting.
  • Andrew Crisp
  • Sen. James Hammond: "Even a tweet would be considered texting."

The legislation could also serve as a statewide ban against using a cellphone to send text messages while operating a vehicle—currently portions of the state have their own restrictions. Past attempts at crafting a bill languished because of language on precisely what constituted “texting.”

“With this bill, even sending a tweet would be considered ‘texting,’” said Hammond. “If you were swerving or something and you were pulled over, you would get this ticket on top of any other infraction.”

Boise Sens. Les Bock and Eliot Werk have crafted an alternate bill that would impose a $50 fine for first offenses, and $100 for subsequent offenses.