State Senate considers increased penalties for texting while driving

DENVER -- The State Senate on Thursday will debate an increase in the penalties for texting while driving.

The bill aims to address a major problem on roadways in the state and across the country.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said in 2015, there were 68 deaths and more than 15,000 crashes in the state that involved distracted drivers.

In a national survey, 98 percent of people said they knew it was dangerous, but 75 percent still admitted to doing it.

Supports of the bill hope increased fines will deter people from making a dangerous decision.

Currently, it's a $50 fine and one point against a driver's license for a first offense. The bill would increase the penalty to $300 and five points for the first offense, and $750 and six points for a second or subsequent offense.

The second reading for the bill will be held in the State Senate on Thursday.