UPDATE: Senate passes ban on texting while driving

TOPEKA – The Senate has given initial approval to a bill that would ban texting while driving.

Senate Bill 351 would make it illegal for a driver to send text messages or email. For a first time infraction, a driver would face a moving violation and a $100 fine.

Teen drivers are already barred from using cell phones while driving under the state’s graduated driver’s license law.

Some lawmakers have questioned how the bill could be enforced. How, for example, could an officer tell if someone was just turning a phone on or off versus sending a text message, asked Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook, R-Shawnee.

“I have people very close to me who drive on a regular basis and people who drive and text are very dangerous drivers on the road but unfortunately passing this law is just looking for more crime,” said Pilcher Cook. She said she would not vote for the bill.

Check back later for updates here.

Lawmakers are now debating a bill that would abolish the death penalty in Kansas.