Talking on your cellphone while driving has been banned. Now texting restrictions are being introduced.
The latest to take on the text messaging is the states of Illinois and Missouri, both of which passed laws this week.
Missouri's law didn't ban it all together though. According to InformationWeek.com, Missouri's law is unique, only banning the practice for drivers under 21, who would receive a $200 fine if caught texting while after the law goes into effect on Friday (August 28).
So far, Missouri is the only state that has singled out an age group for the SMS restriction. Illinois, on the hand, banned it across the board. The state's Governor, Pat Quinn, signed the law this week. The law, which takes effect January 1, 2010, states that there would be a starting fine of $75 for offenders. However, users are allowed to send texts if traffic is stopped, the car is parked and/or in neutral.
Illinois and Missouri joins a list of states that have adopted the ban, which include Alaska, California, the District of Columbia, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey and Washington.
According to the report, there is momentum for federal legislation that would require all states to ban the practice or face reductions in federal highway funds.
The laws come as text messaging has exploded in popularity, as the CTIA said the number of SMS messages has increased tenfold over the last three years. These bans can be difficult to enforce though because it is relatively easy for a motorist to conceal sending a quick text message while driving.