Alaska City Considering $500 Ticket for Texting While Driving

October 26, 2015

Texting while driving in Anchorage, Alaska may land drivers a $500 traffic ticket under a proposal that shifts the violation from criminal to traffic court.

The Alaska Dispatch News reported assembly members will discuss the texting and driving proposal Tuesday as a budget gap has the city reviewing fees and adjusting for inflation.

The $500 ticket would be the Anchorage Police Department’s largest fine. A state texting-while-driving law carries a potential maximum sentence of a year in jail and $10,000 fine.

textingCity prosecutor Seneca Theno said in a memo Friday that there have been four convictions for texting while driving in the city since 2011. Switching the cases from criminal to traffic court avoids the necessity of a jury trial.

Approval would put the policy into effect by Jan. 1.

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