Driver with cell phone

WDRB file photo.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to put the brakes on distracted driving. 

Rep. James Tipton of Taylorsville and co-sponsor Rep. Steve Sheldon of Bowling Green have pre-filed BR 166. It would ban drivers from using a personal communication device — including phones, tablets and laptops — while operating a vehicle on public highways unless there is an emergency.

Kentucky outlawed texting while driving in 2010, but it has been tough to enforce because people are doing more than just texting on electronic devices, including reading emails and checking social media. 

The bill also prohibits anyone under 18 years old from using a cellphone at all while driving. If it passes, anyone caught violating the ban would face stiff penalties. The first offense comes with a $100 fine. Each violation after that will cost $200. For the first offense, drivers may choose to attend state traffic school instead of paying the fine.

Fines for violating Kentucky's original texting law were $25 for the first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. 

The bill will be considered in the 2020 session.

Copyright 2019 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.