Montana House committee hears proposal (HB 178) to prohibit minors from texting while driving

Texting while driving could become illegal for Montanans under 18 if legislation debated Wednesday in the House Transportation Committee moves forward.

House Bill 178 would forbid any minors to use a “wireless communication device” to type, submit or read any “written communication” such as a text or email while operating a vehicle on the road, even if it’s not moving.

The bill calls for a fine of $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense and $200 for any offenses after that. It exempts messages sent to first responders to report an emergency and allows messages from cars parked on a road’s shoulder.