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North Dakota become the 31st state to ban texting while driving

Posted On Wed, April 27, 2011

North Dakota, known for having one of the lowest population densities in the country, has become the latest addition to an increasing pool of states to ban texting while driving.

With Governor Jack Dalrymple's signature, North Dakota recently became the 31st state to ban people from sending text messages while behind the wheel.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the move puts the country closer to banning the practice altogether.

"North Dakota has taken an important step to eliminate distracted driving," LaHood said. "Thanks to the bill signed today by Governor Dalrymple, North Dakota roads will be safer for everyone."

While nearly three dozen states have banned motorists from texting, eight states, including Washington, D.C. prohibit drivers from using cell phones.

When the new North Dakota law become effective August 1, violators will be fined $100.

Though the announcement may help lower accidents and traffic-related fatalities, it remains to be seen if the move will lead to lower auto insurance premiums as a result. In other states where texting is banned, officials say the law has proven difficult to enforce.

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