Kentucky to start fining motorists caught texting

FRANKFORT, KY (AP) - If you text while you drive in Kentucky, prepare to start paying fines if you're caught.

That's the message from state officials, who also are reminding drivers younger than 18 that they will be fined if they're caught using a cell phone while driving.

The fines start at $25 for a first offense and increase to $50 for each subsequent offense, plus court costs.

The governor's office says more than 200 fatalities - and 57,000 crashes - on Kentucky roadways last year were attributed to driver distraction, inattention and cell phone use.

The law bans texting for drivers of all ages while the vehicle is in motion except to report illegal activity or to request medical or emergency aid.

The law took effect in July, but the fines were delayed until the new year.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)