Texting bill set to become law

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A person who is caught texting and driving can face a $250 fine for the first offense, under a new law taking effect this week.

Act 706, sponsored by Sen. Will Bond, D-Little Rock, was approved earlier this year by the Arkansas General Assembly. It is one of several bills that will be taking effect this week.

Under the bill, which was approved by the Senate 21-4 and in the House by a 73-12 margin, the person can also face up to a $500 fine for each additional offense.

However, a person can be exempt from the law if they are calling to report illegal activity, calling for an ambulance or emergency assistance, relaying information between a transit or for-hire operator dispatcher if the wireless device is permanently affixed to the vehicle or the wireless device is being used to navigate using a global positioning system.

The new law has gotten the support of a local resident who said the law is needed.

"I think it's great, I think we have too many people trying to text and drive and they're not being very successful at it and it's causing unsafe conditions wherever you're at," Tana Kundert of Jonesboro said.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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