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Drivers Split Over Higher Fines, DMV Penalties For Cell Phone Use

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(credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

(credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — If you get caught talking or texting on a cellphone behind the wheel, California lawmakers say it should cost you even more cash — along with a ding on your driving record.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports the proposed hike could end up totaling hundreds of dollars for drivers — and those who don’t routinely use their phones while driving say it’s the right move.

If the bill becomes law, a $20 cell phone ticket will increase to $50.

But including courthouse fees, a violation may ultimately total up to $300, with a second offense pushing the fine up to $500.

In addition, the plan would also tack on a penalty point to your file with the Dept. of Motor Vehicles.

The new law would even penalize bicyclists with fines for pedaling and talking on their phone at the same time.

Critics say the move amounts to nothing more than another attempt by the state to help ease a mounting cash crunch in the face of a $25 billion deficit.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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