Wyoming became the 20th state to ban text messaging while driving, as its governor signed legislation that will go into effect on July 1.
The anti-texting legislation (Senate File 20), was sponsored by Sen. Floyd Esquibel, D-Cheyenne, who has authored multiple distracted driving bills in the past.
The law calls for primary enforcement (police can stop and cite violators when spotted) with fines of $75.
Esquibel noted that his newly minted law does apply to all drivers, it is mostly aimed at the young generation that’s hooked on texting. It’s “primarily for an age group that is already at high risk simply because of age,” the state senator said after the measure was approved.
Gov. Dave Freudenthal agreed that teen drivers are the most likely group to engage in texting while driving.
“Wyoming has taken an important step to eliminate distracted driving,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Texting while driving, like talking on cell phones while driving, is dangerous to the driver doing it and all of those around them.”
The distracted driving law won final approval in the House on March 3 and the governor signed the measure a week later.