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Cellphone fines could rise in CA under bill

A driver holds a cellphone in this undated file photo.

August 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Gov. Jerry Brown is considering a bill that would raise the fine for illegally using a cellphone while driving.

Under the bill, which was just approved by the state Senate, the cost for a first offense would climb from $20 to $30. But the real cost would climb from $160 to about $200 when court fees are included.

Repeat offenders would pay about $370, which is up from about $280. Also, repeat violations would add points to drivers' records, potentially increasing their insurance costs.

Senators sent SB1310 to the governor's desk on a 28-9 vote.

Supporters of the bill say it will reduce the number of collisions by discouraging cellphone use. Critics, however, say the fines are too high.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.