- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The top lawmaker in the Rhode Island Senate is calling for increased fines for motorists caught texting while driving.

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed announced legislation Monday that would raise the fines for a first offense from $85 to $100. Fines for second and subsequent offenses would also increase, as would fines for motorists under the age of 18 who are caught talking on a cellphone while driving.

Paiva Weed is also sponsoring legislation that would ask the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority to install a median barrier on the Pell Bridge. Paiva Weed notes that three people have died in head-on collisions on the bridge in the past 27 months.

Rep. Deborah Ruggiero is sponsoring identical legislation in the House.

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