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State Senate passes bill to increase penalties for texting while driving

DENVER -- The State Senate passed a bill Friday that will dramatically increase penalties for texting while driving.

After several readings of the bill, it passed 34-1. The measure now goes to the House for consideration.

Currently, drivers caught texting while driving pay a $50 fine and are assessed one point against their driver's license. A second offense results in a $100 fine.

But the new bill, if it becomes law, would increase the fine to $300 and four points on a driver's license for the first offense.

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.