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Hawaii Becomes 40th U.S. State to Ban Texting and Driving

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June 5, 2013—Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie recently enacted a new state law prohibiting the use of cell phones and other mobile electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), all counties in Hawaii already had distracted driving ordinances in place. But this new law will create consistent requirements across the entire state and will simplify enforcement.

“I commend Governor Abercrombie and the Hawaii legislature for taking an important stand against the danger of distracted driving today,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This new law banning texting while driving will ultimately save many lives and prevent injuries on Hawaii’s roads.”

The law will officially take effect July 1. The fine for a first offense is a minimum of $100.

“We are making a difference in the fight against distracted driving through a combination of good laws, tough and consistent enforcement, and extensive public education,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “Hawaii is sending a strong message that it wants all drivers to be free of distractions.”

With the new law, Hawaii has become the 40th U.S. state to ban text messaging for all drivers, and the 11th U.S. state to ban use of all handheld electronic devices while driving.

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