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In brief: Otter signs ban on texting while driving

Sat., April 7, 2012

BOISE – Idaho has finally, officially banned texting while driving.

Gov. Butch Otter on Thursday signed HB 1274a, the bill banning texting while driving, into law. The new law, which passed this year after three years of unsuccessful attempts in the Legislature to enact such a ban, makes texting while driving an infraction. Idaho currently has misdemeanor penalties for inattentive driving, but unlike most states, no specific law banning texting while driving.

The simple, one-page new law takes effect July 1; it bans texting via handheld wireless devices. Hands-free devices are exempt.

Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Coeur d’Alene, the bill’s lead sponsor, hailed its final passage. “I’m really delighted,” Hammond said Friday. “It’s a great educational tool, and if kids don’t learn, they can be cited for it.”

Low of 26 matches record temperature

Spokane tied a record low on Friday morning at 26 degrees, matching the previous record on April 6, 1997.

The reading persisted for more than an hour at Spokane International Airport and occurred around 5 to 6 a.m.

Warmer weather is on the way for Easter, with partly sunny skies and a high of 60. Temperatures should rise to the lower 60s on Monday and Tuesday.


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