A Vermont House committee is working to green-light new traffic laws, including new penalties for texting behind the wheel.
The miscellaneous traffic bill would increase the fine for texting while driving to $200, and bar all cellphone usage while passing through a work zone.
Drivers idling for more than five minutes could be ticketed $10 for a first-time offense, $50 for a second and $100 for following infractions.
House Transportation Chairman Pat Brennan says when colleagues first proposed an idling ban years ago, he couldn't support it. But he says it's different now that the scope of the restrictions has been reduced.
"This year it's tempered, there are some exemptions for safety issues, for school bus drivers, comfort of the passengers, emergency vehicles, a number of exemptions that will allow people to idle when necessary," said Rep. Pat Brennan, R-Colchester.
Lawmakers scrapped trailer registrations requirements as they say administering the program would cost more than the revenue it would generate.
The bill originated in the Senate, but did not include the idling language at that time. If the House gives the measure final approval Wednesday, the bill will go back to the Senate for reconsideration.
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