- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Texting or otherwise using a hand-held phone while driving is not only dangerous, but it’s also now more expensive if you get caught.

A bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Jack Markell increases the penalty for a first offense of texting behind the wheel from $50 to $100. It also increases the penalty for subsequent offenses from between $100 and $200 to between $200 and $300.

While lawmakers voted earlier this year to toughen the financial penalties, they backed off a proposal calling for points to be assessed on a person’s driver’s license for second or subsequent offenses.

Supporters say many drivers, particularly young people, have been ignoring the current prohibition on texting while driving and that the previous penalties were not enough to discourage such behavior.

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