- Associated Press - Monday, February 13, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico Senate has passed a bill boosting penalties against people caught texting or talking while driving.

The Senate voted Monday 24-16 to pass a measure that would increase the first fine for distracted driving from $25 to $100. Drivers would pay an even bigger fine for subsequent violations.

Sen. Steve Neville hopes the increased fine will force drivers to pay attention to the road, and he likened it to the dangers of drunken driving.

The current Mrs. New Mexico asked the Republican from Farmington to sponsor the bill after a distracted driver killed her father in an accident a year and half ago.

The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

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