- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that toughens penalties for texting or otherwise using a hand-held phone while driving.

The legislation cleared the Senate on a 14-to-7 vote Thursday after winning unanimous approval in the House two weeks ago. It now goes to Gov. Jack Markell.

The bill increases the penalty for a first offense from $50 to $100. It also increases the penalty for subsequent offenses from between $100 and $200 to between $200 and $300.

Lawmakers amended the bill to delete a provision 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, are ignoring the current prohibition on texting while driving and that existing penalties are not enough to discourage such behavior.

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