Illinois, Oregon and New Hampshire are the latest states to ban texting while driving.

The bans went into effect at the beginning of the year for all three states, bringing the total number of states banning the practice to 19, plus Washington D.C. and Guam.

In Wisconsin, the Senate passed a ban last year but the Assembly has yet to act.

How seriously are government bodies taking this issue? Consider that in comparison, only six states (plus D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands) outlaw driving while talking on a handheld cell phone, according to a Yahoo.com blog.

In most cases, the penalty for those caught texting behind the wheel is a fine of about $100. Some states penalize drivers with points on their license, too, which can ultimately lead to the suspension of driving privileges, Yahoo said.

 

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