- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

JACKSON, MISS. (AP) - A bill that would ban all Mississippi motorists from texting while driving has cleared the Senate Judiciary B Committee.

The bill states drivers cannot operate a vehicle on a highway while using a wireless device to type, send or read written communication. A violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine.

Judiciary B Chairman Gray Tollison, a Democrat from Oxford, says the bill is similar to a state law passed in 2009 that targeted teenage drivers. Tollison says research has shown texting while driving is dangerous. He says lawmakers should address the issue to raise awareness about the dangers.

The bill moves to the full Senate for a vote.