Wash. Texting Fines Have Support, Auto Insurance Co. Survey Shows

Woman talking on cell phone while drivingA new PEMCO Insurance poll of Washington drivers showed that 83 percent of those surveyed either support or are in favor of increasing the current penalties in place for texting behind the wheel in their state.

Currently, the state punishes offenders with a $124 fine for texting while driving.

“The latest data shows that the vast majority of Washington drivers recognize the danger of texting while driving, and that’s encouraging,” said PEMCO spokesperson Jon Osterberg. “We were surprised to learn that four in 10 drivers think the fine should be even higher.”

Drivers under the age of 35 were more likely to think that receiving a $124 ticket is too high for the offense. Such findings may not be a surprise to some, given the frequency with which young drivers text.

Data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found that the number of drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 that were observed with hand-held electronic devices has increased in recent years. Between 2007 and 2008, the number of those spotted using electronic devices increased from 1 percent to 1.7 percent.

The poll also found that 43 percent of respondents hold the misconception that being ticketed for texting while driving will appear on their official driving driving record while 36 percent said they didn’t know where the information will be listed. When it comes to finding affordable auto insurance motorists with traffic violations on their driving record typically have a harder time.

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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